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Archive for ThanksGiving and Giving Thanks!

FOND MEMORIES OF MY FATHER DURING THE HOLIDAYS AND BEYOND!

LIFE STARTS HERE.jpgToo often it has been stated that black men are not there for their children,  or men in general are slacking off from their responsibilities.  I have a different perspective.

 My father was a WWII African American Veteran.  He was on the front lines of  that war,  from the way he described it to me when I was a kid. 

I used to love to listen to  him tell stories about work,  or some about the Army Reserve. 

My father had been given a waiver and also given a license to practice as a Practical Nurse when he came out of the service of the United States Army.

  He  became an Army Reservist.  He was a Sgt.  in the Army Reserve. When I was a child he would take me to the Army off of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  I used to love it there during the Christmas  Holiday!  That place was so gigantic to a small child. 

I would run and play amongst the army tanks, and jeeps!  I loved the smell of the gasoline, and heavy metal vehicals.  That was my second home when my father would take me there for parties, to get my gift from “Santa.”!  

  Upstairs in the rooms where the party with Santa was held, there were so many rooms.  The other children and I would sneak from “secret room to secret room” until our parents would call us to come sit on Santa’s lap!  My father would always know everybody there. 

 When I think back,  I did not know what “racism” was until I got into my teens.  My father was friendly with every army reservist there!  There was laughter, and jokes and smiles,  pats on the back and introductions to the other families and their children! 

 I recently found a letter from him to my mother when he was on Army Reserve upstate at Camp Drum.  This letter had been written in 1960’s.  He was telling my mother to pick up his check from the hospital where he worked. 

 He also said that he missed her at the end of his letter.  That was touching to me because it seem that when became severely overcome by diabetes his attittude had changed toward my mother. 

 He eventually passed  when I was 21 years old, from an enlarged heart, and kidney failure.  He suffered trememdously  from  diabetes! 

 I remember watching my father give himself a needle in the stomach.  He had been put in the hospital a couple of times. 

But one thing I noticed about my father, was that he refused to stay home from work.  He went to work everyday. 

He had two jobs.  He worked in what was then called Brooklyn Jewish Hospital,  and Creedmoor Children’s Hospital.

  He would leave for work at 10:00 p.m. and not return home until the next day at 5:00p.m.  My mother would have dinner prepared,  he would take his shower and go straight to bed. 

 He never got many hours of sleep at home. He worked in the Emergency Room at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital at night.  He worked at Creedmoor Children’s Hospital during the day. 

He provided a large bungalo house with a big yard for his family.  My mother called him a WORKAHOLIC!!

His major concern was  that my mother provide him with clean clothes, and dinner.  He could handle the rest. 

On the weekend my father would take me to the park after he had had some sleep. 

He would make sure I had done my chores and then the rest of the afternoon was my time with him!  He loved to play handball with people he had met in the park while I ran around with my friends at the  playground. 

 I never had a bad experience at that park in Cambria Heights Queens NewYork!  As I got older the movies with Bruce Lee came out and my father and I truly enjoyed everyone of those on Saturdays.  

 I remember seeing “Enter the Dragon and a whole host of other movies!”  I became so involved that I started buying Karate Magazine and my father  enrolled me in the Jerome Mackey Karate School. 

 I took up judo!  The Karate Teacher looked very mean and he yelled alot.  So I took judo instead.  I loved being tossed about. 

Except for one time that my judo partener  did a move I did not expect and tossed me so hard that my bottom lip slid across the canvas mat. 

 My feelings were hurt and I never returned to that judo class again. 

 You see,  I loved the sport….but I was a bit shy,  and did not really like the violent part. 

 But  looking back now I realize how I must have had a deep crush on Bruce Lee,  because when he died I was heart broken—for a long while. 

 I read the book on his life and death.  I met my husband when I was 28 and don’t you know it —my husband had two black belts?

  I was shocked.  He had a black belt in IKEJUJITSU  and Korean Karate—oh,  and he also had a black belt in sword, and weapons fighting too

  I was floored,  and excited that I was marrying someone who had such skill.

—-Getting back to my father,  he purchased an above ground five foot 20 or more round swimming pool which he very rarely used himself.

  It was for the family –and he worked so he was more interested in sleeping!  My father allowed my mother to express herself in decorating.

  He even assisted her in opening up an antique shop on Jamacia Avenue in 1965! 

  He was a special man and He was a SPECIAL BLACK AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN!!!!   

  In closing I would like to state that we must remember the good in aALL MEN!!

  No one is perfect.  But try to remember the best in the people you have met.  There are always opportunities to build up your husbands and fathers. 

 Let’s try to decrease some of the negative press against the Black/African American Men,  and Men of ALL RACES for that matter. 

Show a man in your life that you care, and that you appreciate the kind and good things that they do for you.

    It is always easy to find the weaknesses and the errors—But for the sake of your children build up their selfesteem by being role models that they will remember up until they are middle age 47 year old  woman like myself.

  What you do today will defintely last a life time, and will go to the next generation after you are gone! 

 Enjoy the Holidays, and keep safe!

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Cakes and Cookies My Aunt Ellen Used to Bake! * Holiday Baking!!

dinner-wit-us-steppinhowards.jpgMy grandparents used to live on Pacific Street in Brooklyn New York when I was born in 1961.  My parents had left Brooklyn before I was born and purchased a home in Queens New York. 

 I remember visiting  my grandparents and my Great Aunt Ellen for the holidays.  Sometimes my father would drive into Brooklyn and pick up my mother’s parents and Aunt Ellen.

They would then spend ThanksGiving with us in Queens.  Aunt Ellen would always have “bags of plaid or green with rolling wheels filled with great smelling cookies,  cakes,  and ingredients to help my mother out with the Thanks Giving Feast! 

It was a wonderful time of togetherness!  I was about 5 or 6 when a picture had been taken of everybody at the table from my mother and father to the rest of the family gathered around for the prayer and the meal at the table.  I always knew that this was supposed to be a special time. 

  They were imigrants from Virginia.  My Great Aunt Ellen was a spinster.  She was a member of a 7th Day Adventist church. 

She was well known for her hand made dolls,  her cooking and her baking!  She would cook for church functions  all the time.  But  she made her living cooking every day for a family of a wealthy  Building Designer named Freidman. 

 My Aunt Ellen lived at the Friedman  house on on Argiel Road 6 days a week. She cared for the two daughters, cleaned the house, and cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  She was a devote 7th Day Adventist so she attended church every Saturday.  She was my favorite person to see when I went to my grandparents home. 

I did not realize how special that apartment was until just now.  Because so many of the things that I love to do are threaded by the love and quiet personality I had observed  of my Aunt Ellen. 

She spoke volumes with her actions by constantly being busy.  She did not preach at you…she was just a quiet loving presence.  She went away every year and baked up state at the Religious Retreats of the 7th Day Adventist. 

When she passed it was a difficult time because she represented a era of my life.  She lived long enough to meet my son after he was born, and she was talking to him and even recognized him and everyone else up until her dying moment. 

Aunt Ellen had passed at the age of 86 years old.  She left behind her hand made dolls and her quiet  love for God and his word.  Her bedroom was filled with Bibles and 7th Day Adventist literature. 

The Freidman daugthers were middle aged women and they cried with great emotion at the wake and funeral.  They stated that she was their second mother and they were in mourning for the dear Ellen.

Ellen’s Cakes*

Yellow Cake with milk Chocolate Frosting: 

I would love to sneak pieces and pieces of cake and eat until my stomach hurt!!! She would make a three layer cake with the frosting between the layers.  I loved to eat the chocolate all by itself! The cake was the bonus.  My son  always asks me why do I love chocolate so much.  I think it truly is a comfort food for me.  It reminds me of Aunt Ellen’s baking —I guess.  She would sometimes put walnuts in the milk chocolate frosting.  Every thing Aunt Ellen did was from scratch!  No Betty Crocker for Aunt Ellen back in the 60’s and 70’s! 

Classic White Cake with Coconut Frosting:

I would enjoy this cake also.  It was light and fluffy, and had a pinapple center.  Again all of her baking was done from scratch.  Sometimes if I arrived on the one day she had off from the Friedman’s home,  I would get to see Aunt Ellen in the midst of baking!  (I have come to realize now, that is why I like to cook, and bake so much–when I have time!) I also love to knit, and sew by hand.  I just do not have the time that I would like to devote to handcrafting!

Lemon Pound Cake:

There was no frosting on this cake….but the lemon was strong and the cake was firm but moist.  I remember savoring the tangy lemony taste with a cup of milk!  I did not like milk back then,  but if Aunt Ellen baked something you would certainly expect to see me with a cup of milk!

Vanilla Drops:

These Vanilla Drop Cookies were hard as a rock!  But once you got them in your mouth you kept eating, and eating till they were all gone!   Aunt Ellen used baking soda, baking powder,  yeast, and all of the traditional ingredients.  Sometimes she would have me sift the flour for her baking.  That was my favorite task when helping her out.  She would chide me, or admonish me to do this or do that, or sit down so I wouldn’t spill anything!   She never patted me on the head, or even kissed my cheek.  She was very quiet and just plodded along her course until she finished one project of baking or another.

Chocolate/ Walnut,  and or Chocolat Chip Cookies:

Yes, I saved the best for  last.  These cookies were the best for me.  I would eat, and eat those cookies until my mother would tell me to stop it!  I would sneak back into the kitchen and look inside this special roasting pot that Aunt Ellen would store her completed cookie projects inside of  wax paper,  foil, and little plastic bags. 

 I just loved to smell the flour and odor of baked goods as I would walk into  that kitchen and take a cookie or two.  I would check the kitchen table for evidence of a new baking project —you know ingredients of walnuts already cracked and waiting in little bags or containers. 

 I would then go across to the window and look out and see the elevated train station with people waiting for their train above Altantic Avenue.  I would go back to the living room with my cookies!

Cakes I attempt to make>>>

Now that Aunt Ellen is gone for some years now,  I still find myself loving home baked goods.  I cannot recreate them from scratch but I go to the supermarket and pick up the boxes of BETTY CROCKER or Duncan Hines Cake mixes!  I will list the group I will be making for this ThanksGiving Weekend:

 Duncan Hines- Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake

****I have premade White Frosting with rainbow sprinkles for the White Cake.

Duncan Hines- Moist Deluxe **Red Velvet Cake

****I will use the premade Ducan Hines White Frosting for the Red Velvet Cake.

Duncan HInes- Moist Deluxe Butter Recipe Golden Cake

****I will use the premade milk chocolate frosting for the Golden Cake.

****Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies

I do not need any frosting on my brownies!

Two more are not cake but something I have discovered that are tasty:

Concord Foods  Apple Crisp-  I purchased this mix in King Kullen,  but I have also purchased it in Waldbaums,  and Pathmark Stores.

All that is needed is simple butter, and Fresh Apples!  You can put icecream on this after it is prepared.  It is great tasting and easy to make too!

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix-  This is the only mix that comes close to the old fashioned taste of Aunt Ellen’s cooking and her bisquits! 

I truly enjoyed reminiscing with you about my love of Aunt Ellen,  and her special quiet ways.

Enjoy your ThanksGiving Weekend,  and the Special People in your lives!

Decorating For the Holidays –Update on 12/8/07***on a shoe string!

I just got some last minute ideas on decorating my diningroom table. A friend of my told me how to make a Christmas Tree and wreath from construction paper!  No—it is not a new idea….but instead of spending alot of money on decorations….I have plenty of glue and paper.  I love Arts and Crafts!  Today after I sing at a concert I will go and do that!   Last year I had limited financial resources!  What else is new?  But I still brought a Christmas tree.  I paid about $35.00. And this year I have the same financial problems but that does not stop my holiday Spirit! *****My update is about an actual 99 cent store that contacted me today.  It is an actual online shopping spree for those looking for the economic thrills of low budget shopping.  Here take a look.  Now mind you….I have not actually gone to the store….but it gives the address and I love to drive….I will take a ride out there and let you know how it looks.  Here is the online address pasted: http://www.99centplusonline.com   Posted today 12/4/07—Hurry Holdiay shopping is in full swing!  Enjoy!**************************** ***************************************************************   I love a live tree.  My childhood was filled with a fake tree.  But what my mother could afford back then I cannot.  My mother’s fake tree had fake snow coming out of the top, and the tree itself rotated, and my mother even had a strobe light on too.  What a holiday I truly enjoyed!!  My mother was very creative.  She made a wooden tree and hung it on the front door of the house and put candy canes on it foir visitors or the mailman to take and eat!  There were little elves hanging all aroud the house.  I would play with them and then put them back where ever my mother hung them!  I loved Christmas!  It was the spirit of the holiday –NOT THE GIFTS!  My mother made the holiday a special  time in our house!  Not the shopping!  I did not even see her shop.  I truly believed that Santa was bringing me my gifts!  So it was not comercial like it is today!  I thank  God that I had the mother I had, and the father who could help her to supply a very fantasy,  sheltered DisneyLand mentality for my childhood.  That is probably why I still enjoy the holiday season.  I love to recreate that for my son!   So I enjoy that live tree–it smells soo Good! The live tree is good!  I don’t have to put it together. Although securing it is not always easy—but my son and I tend to get it anchored into it’s base after a few tries!  I shop at the 99cent stores to get my holiday decorations.   Why should I spend and arm and a leg getting a decorations?  I like my food,  and holiday gifts to be around the tree also.  So I have to stretch my dollars.  So  99cent store is just fine.  Last year I used a lot of red little bows on the branches and a few Christmas plastic red,  yellow and green balls.  I always love a little Santa,  and a few elves!  All of these things cost 99Cent.   Sometimes I go to the***** Valley Stream Flea Market off of the Sunrise Highway behind the Cineplex!*****   It is free to go in,  and you have vendors.  The vendors have great close outs,  cheap costume jewelry, some silver jewlrey and even jade,  jeans,  coats,  some leather,  some designer closeouts.  There is even a vendor who sells suitcases.   I see eager shoppers who have relationships with these vendors.  Certain vendors at the flea market are so committed that they know each other and all of their regular customers too.  One vendor always remembers me,  I  buy a few things each time I go. There are also$10.00 sheets for the bed too.  There are MINK blankets for sale too!   What a great opportunity to have the things that others buy for much higher prices!   There are people who sell spices,  and plants too.  So between the two places,  the 99cent store and the Valley Stream/Green Acres flea Market I make out pretty Good!   I  want to put up Christmas Lights also.  I love to have rotating lights and white lights.  I have a Manager scene,  and bells on the front door.  I want to purchase a colorful tree skirt this year.   I spend some dollars  at Marshalls  also.  Marshalls has such beautiful holiday decorations.  I buy a few special pieces at Marshalls just to add a little pizazz to my 99cent  decorations.  I will give more entries later.  Tonight when I get home I have to run right out to get my Spanish Rice ingredients for tomorrow’s meal.  I am cooking of course.  I truly believe I would be a Martha Steward if I had more personal time and more energy!   I list my menu later on tonight.  But baked ZITI will definitely be on the menu for our THANKSGIVING DINNER!  My sons bakes the zitti.  I get it started and he seasons to his taste and puts the whole tray in the oven.  I that’s right I have to pick up more butter and Eggnog too!  I love to cook and bake.   I going to make an apple pie and some sweet potatoes with the marshmellow topping—yummy,  yummy!!  Oh,  boy,  Christmas Decorations and Great food!!!   I truly have a lot to be thankful for. I  will check in later to night,  and I will tell you how my cooking and decorating and shopping goes this weekend too! Today is ThanksGiving!  As always I am running behind schedule.  I have to run to the LIQUIDATORS in Valley stream to pick up more aluminum pans and such.  Ziti noodles, more butter, turkey seasonings, more Apple Cider, Black Cherry Soda, more cheese,  pie crusts,  apples,  brownie mix,  cake mix,  marshmellows, and more sweet poptatoes!  I always take my time!  I love to cook.  I would do it all the time if I could.  I also want to pick up a themed  table cloth if I can find one for a low price.  Well,  I will check later!  It is 8:44 and my son is still asleep! Gotta get him up and get this show on the road! **************************************************************** Okay,  I’m Back! I cooked my turkey….until it fell  off of the bone!  YES!!!  My son ate, and my Mom ate,  and of course I –the chef had to ate it and saw what I could improve upon.  Well my ingredients for the turkey are first in the cleaning preparation.   I rinse the turkey,  take out the giblets and the neck.  I scrup the turkey with the KOSHER salt.  I rinse and then  pour lemon juice from concentrate inside and outside of the turkey.   I rinse several more times.  I cut up celery, and onion and place in a small pot with butter and water.  I let that come to a boil.  I have already prepared my stuffing.   I rub the last bit of KOSHER salt and pour it inside of the turkey.  I rinse one last time and then I take the boiling vegetables out of the pot with a holed spoon and then pour the boiling mixture of butter and water over the turkey.   It does a good job of sealing it for cooking.  Then I use the BELL TURKEY seasoning, mixed with a little Adobo seasoning too.—(not too much) just for a little zing!   I massage the entire bird with this delicate mixture of flavor–YUMMY!    I place four pats of butter on the bottom of the pan and then lay my nearly green bird down.  It looks a little weird….but guess what it is golden brown when it is finished cooking…after I stuffed the bird with the boiled vegetables, and Stove Top Stuffing I poured the last bit of butter and water combo over the bird and then I reconnected the legs…checked the done pin and then poured more vegetables on the top of the bird.   I used foil  and alot of butter to cover the wings so that they would not burn or cook faster than the rest of the bird.   I noticed that the foil and the temperature at 350 according to the directions  practically steams the bird to perfection!  Great!   So we had a great turkey. Today I went out to WholeSale Liquidators.  I was shocked because I was there yesterday and spent $75 dollars on food and utensils that I needed.   I received a $10.00 gift card from the store.  So guess what?  On BLACK FRIDAY,   I gave the card to my son and he brought something that he wanted for Christmas with it.   I have never gotten a gift card from a store before!   So check out Wholesale Liquidators in Valley Stream Green Acres Mall—at the opposite end from Walmart.   I was so happy.  My son was more than happy to buy a controller for one of his game systems.   I did look at their decorations….they have them for a buck too!  Great!  What else should I say?  Oh,  I was a bit upset with Old Navy—I got there late (meaning 8:00 in the morning)–  The clerk told me that I had to be there at 5:00 am so that I could have purchased the $20.00 worth of items and then get a $40.00 value MP3!   But it did not say that on the flyer that I got in the news paper!  Oh, Well!  I ‘m satisfied…I got to GameStop at 7:00 just in time to get my son his game system.   It was a difficult decision for me to make.  I struggle—but he did get an A in 9th grade American History and he holds a pretty strong B average in everything else.   Saturday will be my Green Acres Mall,  Flea Market Day.   I’ ll let you know what they have out there.  Or better yet—you take a look for yourself!  Blog to you soon! 

Gasoline and the Threat from Venezuela!! Here comes that Sudden Fear of $4.00 Gas Price and Above!!! Hold on “its Gonna be a Bumpy Ride!”

FRUSTRATION.jpg (This picture is titled:  “FRUSTRATION” this was painted by me during the summer  of 2007. ) 

 This picture reminds of the continuous struggle of the gasoline prices in the United States today!    Update 12/02/07 –         I feel that the recent gasoline prices are some what stable between $3.19 per gallon for regular and $3.45 per gallon for regular.  I have seen the cheap prices in  Long Island.

  I have seen expensive prices closer to the Long Island Expressway.  I have a gas station right on Jamacia Avenue in Queens Village that  stays between $3.19  and $3.25 so far.  But sometimes I wait to the last minute to get gas and then I end up waisting money and paying $3.45 for gasoline per gallon.  That is bad because I only have $5.00 on me sometimes!  $5.00 per fill up is like putting a 1/2 cup of water into the gas tank!  I am being priced out of car driving! 

 1010 Wins  (Radio News Station)  said it!  On Saturday night,  after I drove all the way to BayTerrace Tennis Bubble and dropped my child off for practice….I got that jetters in my gut AGAIN!

  The Venezuelian Country,  who along with other oil rich countries  holds the keys to alot of ‘OIL’–natural resources gave a threat to the United States. 

 1010 Wins stated that,  correct me if I am wrong,  Dictator Julio Chavez said, ” If the United States attempts any military action on Venezuela,  or Iran  that “OPEC” will continue to INCREASE  the PRICES OF GASOLINE!!!  

“Oh,  Lord,”  I thought,  my stomach is starting that bumble jumble dance.  I have a weak stomach when I feel any type of frustration,  or fear.  Hey look,  I have faith and all that….but I cannot fill my gas tank with Faith,  Dreams,  or Positive Thoughts! 

I need hard cold Green Backs or A Line of Credit!  I do not have a Visa,  MasterCard,  American Express,  or Even a Discover Card ( due to previous loss of husband,  loss of house,  and Banckruptcy!!)

  I have been attempting to pick my life up from the ashes—but this GLOBAL ECONOMY just will not slow down or get together long enough for me to gather my own resources….which are skimpy to say the least. 

 Look,  I know the being black and having a Bell Curve IQ nonsense has affected my life I guess.  But guess what?  The gas station guy does not care what my IQ is!! 

 All he wants to know is how much Gasoline I want to buy?  How much money to I have in my pocket!  The Gasoline Prices I saw this weekend were staggering! 

 I saw the Super price at an EXXON  station for $3.55 per gallon.  So what is the big deal to raise it another .50 cents?  Look,  I am not some famous singer like Beyonce who juants around the world looking beautiful and creating designer  clothes! 

I am a typical 47 year old woman who lives and breathes according to the prices at the supermarket,  gasoline station, Walmart,  Waldbaums, rent etc. 

I have to know how much of the global economy and wars and rumors of wars will affect my everyday life.  This is not a reality TV program—THIS IS REALITY! 

 OPEC is considering raising  the gas prices….that is squeezing my already triple pinched penny that is in my nearly empty pocket book!

  My church helped me with a “Care Basket for ThanksGiving”  but who will donate a “full” tank of gasoline to me?  Nobody! 

So the fear begins to rise in my throat like bile on an empty sour stomach!  My head has begun to get that throbbing sensation right at the temples!  UGH!!!!! This is going to be a LONG,  LONG,  LONG WINTER!!! 

Just tell me,  what are all of the presidential hopefuls’stating this time?  Are they still fighting each other about a five year war that is basically something in the past ( as far as who signed or voted for it?)

  They need to stop the nonsense and come up with solutions to bring this global economy under control before the little people like me,  you know “the not so beautiful, not so famous, just plain Jane,  challenged,  single parent,  BABY BOOMER, elder care giver go under for the last time. 

 How am I to make it?  I don’t get food stamps cause I ‘MAKE TOO MUCH’ (as compared to people who have more than one child) and I don’t get HEAP ASSISTANCE for the same reason. 

I feel like I am on the brink of destruction here.  “Brother can you spare a dime.”  –Soon to be Brother can you lend me the price of  half a tank of gasoline?”  I hope that Obama,  Clinton,  and Ron  come up with some solutions and stop the nit picking over each other’s records!!! 

 What are you going to do to stop this economic assualt on my dollar at the gasoline pump???!!!! 

 They need a reality check!  People like me need help and I need to put my vote behind the person who has the best solution,  and the right direction to take this global issue and make a change for the better. 

 If things do not improve for me financially I do not know where my family will end up. 

First stop for me is to pray. 

Hope everyone will do the same.—or whatever method you use to increase positive outcomes in your lives!

Remember, Gasoline is the STAPLE of US ALL!

What Kids want for the Holidays? (Christmas in my kids case!) and WE WILL BE AT GAMESTOP ON 11/23/07 FRIDAY AT 07:00

My son starts off telling,  and writing,  even doing powerpoint presentations for me about the NINTENDO WII AND  Legend of Zelda games. ********** Update 12/1/07 ********

My  son’s friend Mike told me that He wants $600.00 so that he can buy Xbox 360  and a SideKick!

My son also said that he wants:

 Super Smash Bros. Brawl

, A CLASSIC CONTROLLER,

 Sonic and the Secret Rings,

 Mario and Sonic Olympic Games,

 Super Mario Galaxy,

 Xbox 360,

Halo 3 Smackdown vs. Raw 2008,

 Nintendo ds, Playstation 3,

 Ipod, Jordans,

 NIkes,

 jeans,

designer shirts,

fitted cap,

The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass,

The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess,

Rip Stick,( two wheeled skate board)

 Music albums,

 speakers for computer,

 Samsung flatscreen tv 50 in.,

 cable tv/ satillite tv.,

helio cell phone,

 vacation in Fernwood Villas,(((Poconos of course!)))

 a ski trip (Poconos Again)–OutDoor World in door water park.

But then my son says its hard to ask for things  because he knows our financial situation.  I will go out tomorrow which a few short hours from now and try to get the WII. 

 He said he will be happy with that one item!  What a great 14 yearold!  You know my son got an A in History?! 

 He is even keeping his grades up in english.  He needs a little help with his math…but nothing too bad. 

I keep in touch with his teachers through the website “teacherease”…What a great Kid!  Another reason to be thankful to the Lord above! 

—So getting back to THE Christmas list!—I am also going to Old Navy—they are giving out a free MP3 for $20.00 spent at 5:00 am on BLACK FRIDAY!  

Everything he wants is extremely expensive!  I feel so bad that I cannot provide gifts for my son in general—forget about Christmas….

My son did not even get a birthday gift this year at all!  I have to pay that rent,  and utilities—

I wish I could give my son the type of Christmas I had when I was a kid!  My Christmas, as a kid was overflowing with so much stuff!!! 

 My father came loaded with toys before,  during,  and after the Holidays.  People from his job liked him so much they would give him gifts for his family. 

Boy,  I was a blessed kid.  I cannot say the same for my child.  One year we did not even have a “real” Christmas tree. 

I had a 1 foot tall fiberoptic tree that I always placed on the dining room table—that year I  used it in a corner of the livingroom.  I stacked up two telephone books and placed an old tree skirt on top of the stacked telephone books. 

It looked nice.  I wanted a tree,  but because it was the last minute there was a shortage of trees that year. I had no money to buy a twenty dollar tree even. 

 There was a dry branch and I asked the man if I could have it and he was such a Scorge that he said I had to pay $10.00 for it. 

 I saw in his face that he would not budge. 

 I said Wow,  on Christmas Eve and all—this man see’s that I am trying to get my son some type of Holiday spirit and he flatly said no.  We survived….but my  heart was broken inside. 

 I had asked the Lord why?  Why? do I have to suffer?  Why did my husband have to leave me alone to raise this child and not provide a beautiful Christmas holiday for him?

  Why?   I cried when my child went to sleep.  He had smiled after he saw me make our little one foot tree into a 3foot tree.  I set about laying out his little gifts.

  He was 10 at the time;  but had played video games since 6years old.  So his gifts were small–but pricey! 

I brought him things that he did not ask for,  and two things he did ask for.  When he woke the next day he was happy that he received the video games he had asked for. 

He hugged me and said thankyou Mommy! 

The worse time of year for me is the Holidays!  I do not get depressed—I just feel like I am not able to provide for my child like I would want to.  I pray all the time to revive my finances. 

This year I am looking for another miracle too.  He wants  that Ninetendo WII.  He needs sneakers for gym.  He wants a fitted baseball cap,  and I want to buy him a decent coat.  If you remember I did get a great bargin on a jacket at the flea market for $5.00. 

But I found that jacket does not have a good collar–it is more of a baseball jacket.  It does not have a hood for the head.  I just ask the Lord to help me to find another extremely bargin.  You see I just paid my $1600.00 rent.  I have to pay my utilities,  and my car insurance—so—what to do?  what to do?  

I do not get child support—never ever!   My husband is gone!  Missing for nearly 10 years!  So I do not get one dime from  him.  My Mom and I share the bills, but the bills are so high that I am always behind or paying less to a bill than I should.

I do not know what tomorrow may bring….but I will pray and believe that the Lord will guide me,  and keep my small family.

  Atleast my church gave me a turkey to cook for ThanksGiving! and the trimmings too.

So to God be the Glory for the things he has done.  I pray for those who have even less than I.   I have got to get ready for work tomorrow.  *****Since this is an updated–edit I will not be going to work tomorrow-*****-I am going to OLD NAVY AND ALSO TO GAME STOP TO SEE IF I CAN EVEN AFFORD THAT WII!  I do not have credit—after I lost my husband,  and my house I lost my credit through bankruptcy.  I cannot affort to have any type of card—so everything I buy is HARD COLD GREEN CASH!!!  AND IF I DO NOT HAVE GREEN CASH….THEN I DO NOT PURCHASE ANYTHING. 

I am so tired,  but I know that the Lord is still there guiding me through all of these trials and tribulations!  Good Night! 

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11/23/07 UPDATE

Okay, Okay, I went Shopping.  I came back and had some more turkey with my family.  I am sleepy now.  But here is what happened with my son.   His wish came ture!  The WII was his wish and we got it for him today!  His face beamed like a sunny day in August!  This is a definite scacrifice.   “Lord have mercy!  I pray the Lord help me with all my other responisbilities!

What kids want for the HOLIDAYS IS FOR THE DREAMS AND WISHES TO COME TRUE!

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2nd update  11/23/07

My son is resting now!  He keeps looking at his WII in the box.  He will not open it until Christmas!  Atleast that is what he states!    On my list of things to get is some pretty heavy duty things…You want to see what I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?!!!

okay here goes:  I

 want to write a book and finish it completely,  and have it published.  It will be a book on the LIFE OF A BLACK WIDOW! 

I want to get my five songs that I wrote and produced published and song by Christian Professionals.

  I want to pay off all of my debts with the earnings from my music,  and my published book. 

 I want to pay for my son’s education  “lock- stock- and barrel!” 

 I want to get my masters degree in Leadership, of Organizational Management from Nyack College and pay that off completely also pay off my B.S. in Organizational Management in full too! 

I want to regain private home ownership and buy a house on two acres and regain my life as a pet owner again.  (I lost all of that with the loss of my husband). 

 I want to assist Food Pantries,  and aid the poor with educational programs geared to employment. ****That is what I want to do if I made enough money with my music and my writing. 

I would like to have someone most of all read my work and critique it so I know or not if I am wasting my time! 

 I want to be able to perform my vocalizing in jazz,  R&B  and soul with a great piano player every day or atleast once a week. 

I want to have my own music studio in my own home so I can start practicing again like I used to do before my husband got sick. 

 I would like to pay for my son to start and complete his Alto Sax lessons,  and piano lessons.  He is much more talented than I am.  All he needs is lessons! 

I would like to purchase a new computer with HIGHSPEED ETC.

 I would like to take my mother on a trip. 

Well these are some of the things this MOTHER OF A CHILD would like to have for Christmas. 

But for now I will rejoice that I had a turkey for ThanksGiving with sweet potatoes,  and all of the trimmings that I had the strength to cook! 

 I am usually too tired to do it immediately after arriving home but this time I pushed myself to get it done! 

son is full and happy and sleeping….so I can blog to my little heart’s content uninterrupted!  lolololol!!!!  ha ha ha!

I thank the Lord for all of his blessings toward me and mine.  And I wish the best for all of you and your families.  Keep safe!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! GOBBLE! GOBBLE! GRACE IS MINE!11/23/07 UPDATE!

I have to give thanks today!! 

For the Lord truly has looked my way.

My life so drawn from strife so long

That I was blessed today,  by someone

other  -far away!

Gobble,  Gobble,  Grace is Mine!

I would not have thought this would happen

to me,  not any time.

I have to say Happy ThanksGiving!  ThanksGiving is mine!

I want to share a miracle with you.  The Lord has given me  a basket for the holidays.  I thought I would not be able to feed my little family the traditional meal. 

  The past few months have been difficult.  I have had to go to the food pantry and eat whatever they offered.  They gave alot of brown rice and dried beans. 

 Beans are an excellent source of  protein.  But they take so long to cook!  Sometimes we did not have even butter or oil to add to the food. 

 But we survived and we are here today to offer THANKS GIVING TO THE LORD!!!!   

 I want to encourage all of  my fellow bloggers to be of good cheer–no matter what your circumstances that there is one above us all. 

 My good fortune I truly believe is based on the prayers of others for my family,  the good deeds of others toward my family,  and  my learning to be silent sometimes,  and other times to be humble.

  It is not always easy to be humble in the face of a difficult job,  or  frustrating situations in your job or personal life.  But I must inspire you today to not give up. 

There is a purpose to all of our lives.  Many times we lose loved ones along the road of life.  Other times we fall out of companionships and feel as though we are alone  in the world. 

 I have found that my faith in a higher power has seemed to brought people to my life that serve a positve purpose in my life. 

Thank the Lord!   Without the Lord I could not/ would not make it!  He keeps me and my family!

  Have a Great Thanks Giving with your friends, and loved ones!

 ((( So basically it as be as so helpful 2 give m3 da food i needed 2 haEve this thanksgiving dinner. Thank the Lord!!! )))That previous stuff is texting by my son! ***

 He  so happy to have a big 16 pound turkey to eat.  I am defrosting right now. 

I love to cook.  I love  to bake bread,  sweet potatoes, and all of the trimings.  It takes me a long time ….but  I love it.

  It sure beats the fo0d pantry!!!!!  Thanks be to God!  I have canned vegetables, and even stove top stuffing!!!!! I am baking RED VELET Duncan Heines Cup Cakes with white frosting!

  I will bake some brownies in the next few days too!  But the most tasty treat after that dinner is the Concord Apple Crisp!  As soon as you finish it,  it melts in your mouth!  It tastes great with icecream within the first half and an hour! 

 Pick it up in any regular  grocery store.  Get some Macintosh Apples and cut up about 7 or 8 and then lay in a 8′ by 10′  pan and cook until the concord crumbs seep into the apples. 

It is just like the apple without the entire pie crust!  Yes,  truly a blessed ThanksGiving Day indeed!!!!

 I am so happy that my church thought of  my little family.—-I will continue to pray for my church and the kind people there.  God bless everyone who contributed!!!

“BLESS THE LORD!!!  OH, MY SOUL!!!  AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!!!!”

JUST TO ADD A LITTLE BIT MORE===I COOKED MY TURKEY LATE BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS TIRED….SO AS MY FAMILY TRADITION GOES—NOT BY CHOICE—MORE BY MY HUMAN WEAKNESS—IT IS JUST NOW STILL QUITE HOT—AND MY SON AND I ARE GOING TO RUN OUT TO SEE WHAT THIS BLACK FRIDAY THING IS ALL ABOUT.  I DO NOT HAVE MUCH MONEY–BUT MY SON GOT AND A IN AMERICAN HISTORY, AND MAINTAINS A PRETTY STRONG B AVERAGE IN ALL OF HIS SUBJECTS….SO I TRY TO STRETCH A DOLLAR OR TWO IN HIS DIRECTION.  THANK THE LORD FOR HIS GRACE TOWARD MY SON.—I WILL CHECK IN LATER WITH AN UPDATE OF MY EXPERIENCE AT BLACK FRIDAY—I AM GOING TO OLD NAVY AND GAMESTOP!!!!  TALK TO YOU SOON!

RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY!!!

I REMEMBER “NO MORE SHEETS!” BY JUANITA BYUM AND I HAVE TO HAVE FAITH FOR HER TO REGAIN HER ORIGINAL BLESSING!

Flower of HungerI was struggeling with a marriage  deep in the  rivers of despair!  But I went to my hair dresser and she was playing that video sermon “No More Sheets”.  I was truly inspired.  Then she played the TD Jakes ” Woman thou Art Loosed!”  I look back at those times as bitter sweet!  It was the turning point of my life with my husband!   Those two sermons helped me to get my life back on track!  It saved my marriage for four more years until my husband became sick.

My  goal here is to remind all of you who can look back 10 years or more and remember the Juanita Byum of yesteryear!!  Think back to the great inspiration she was to you.  Hold that thought and memory! 

Now think back further and see that you can pray for God—who knows no time or space continueum and revive Minister Bynum and her husband Thomas!  Ca’mon!  Do not give up on Minister Bynum!  

I believe there are more powerful sermons to come from this great woman of God!   Remember Donny McClurkin, “We Fall Down–but we get up—we fall down but we get up!!!  For  the Saint is just a sinner who fell down—And Got UP!!!!

Pray- without ceasing for our Christain Leaders,  pray and speak the will of God over Ms.  Bynum!

Tomorrow I will give you scripture on these things!—-Just remember King David and his struggles!

Job18 

Bildad from Shuah said,  How long will you talk? Be sensible!  Let us speak.  So do you think that we are dumb animals?  You cut yourself in anger.  Will that shake the earth or even move the rocks?

  The lamps of sinful people soon are snuffed out, leaving their tents dark. Their powerful legs become weak, and they stumble on schemes of their own doing. 

Before they know it they are trapped in a net, hidden along the path.  Terror strikes and pursues from every side.  Starving thry run, only to meet disaster, then afterwards to be eaten alive by death itself.

Those sinners are dragged from the safety of their tent to die a gruesome death. Then their tents and possessions are burned to ashes, and they left like trees, dried up from the roots. 

 They are gone and forgotten, thrown far from the light into a world of darkness, without any children to carry on their name. 

 Everyone, from east to west, is overwhelmed  with  horror.  Such is the fate of sinners and their families who don’t know God.

Let us continue to pray….PRAY FOR MS.  BYNUM….SHE IS A CHILD OF GOD!!!  SHE IS NOT A SINNER!   SHE IS SUFFERING TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS.  SHE HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO MANY,  MANY,  MANY TEMPTATIONS!!!  

 Some of those temptations she has possibly been affected by…..but there is no miracle too great for our God!!!! 

SING IT!!!  “OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD HE REIGNS ON HEAVEN AND EARTH  WITH WISDOM POWER AND LOVE OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!!—BELIEVE IT CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH GOD!!! 

CONFESS IT!!!  PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS MERCY ENDURES FOR EVER,  AND EVER!!!  BEGIN TO REALLY LIFT UP MS.  BYNUM IN PRAYER….PRAY FOR HER FAMILY,  PRAY FOR HER CONGREGATION, 

 PRAY FOR A NEW REVEALTION IN HER SPIIRT—GOD IS READY TO GIVE AN NEW ANIONTING TO MS.  BYNUM!!! 

 ARE YOU READY?  I AM!  GET READY BELIEVERS,  GET READY SAINTS  MS. BYNUM IS ON THE MEND AND SHE WILL BE HEALED OF ALL OF HER HURTS,  AND PAINS. 

 THE BLESSINGS WILL COME AS WE ALL CONTINUE TO LIFT UP OUR SISTER IN THE LORD!  AMEN AND AMEN!

Psalms 50: 12-15

If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you.  Because I own the world and everything in it.  I don’t eat the meat of bulls or drink the blood of goats.  I am GOD MOST HIGH!!

The only sacrifice I want is for you to be thankful and to keep your word.  Pray to me in time of trouble.  I will rescue you and you will honor me.

Check the scriptures when in doubt about how you should feel about fellow Christians when they go astray.  Lets try to keep to the Lord’s way.

Now you all,  have a good day!