Binge Watching TV is Addictive, Educational, and Inspiring

Orange is the New Black series

Netflix calls itself “the world’s leading internet entertainment service,” and that’s probably an accurate description, but what it doesn’t say is that it’s like an addiction. First, I confess that I’ve never tried drugs—too cheap and too scared—but I’ve seen addicts plot and plan full-time on how to get access and that’s exactly what happened to me when I discovered Netflix and the series Orange is the New Black.

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Congressman Lewis Fought the Good Fight

Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis wears the hero label well

I am reluctant to affix labels on people, but Congressman John Lewis seems to have earned the ones I’ve heard associated with him since his death on July 17th. Considered the moral conscience of the Congress, he’s been called a fearless and tireless advocate for freedom and justice, and a man who was often surrounded by chaos but chose to be better and not bitter.

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Kindness Matters

kindness

Kindness matters, every time, all the time

Just call me a one-note Johnny. My former college president used this term to describe himself because most of his conversations—no matter where or what they started out being about, ended in the same place. For me, I have three repeat conversations—be kind, build relationships, and send mushy notes–and the more I write and advocate for this trio of behaviors, the more I know repetition never hurts.

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July is National Ice Cream Month

Chocolate Mousse

July is National Ice Cream Month—here’s another excuse to celebrate

Every summer memory I have includes ice cream, and every memory is a happy one.  July is National Ice Cream Month so first, I say thanks to the person responsible for creating it, and secondly, I say let’s get the party started! (Does it seem like I’m always trying to find a reason to celebrate? It’s true, I do.)

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Speaking of the Long, Hot summer

African American Music Appreciation Month

This month is one for the history books. When I think of June, it’s usually with happy, uneventful thoughts—weddings, summer, school’s out, long evenings with friends, recreational activities galore, only six more months until Christmas – heck, what is there to complain about?  This month, however, has been what I’d call tumultuous for lack of a nickel word to use instead of this 50-cent one.

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On Monuments

Building relationships

Can we talk about monuments, protests, military bases, flags?

I’ve said it in almost every way I know: we must respect and build relationships, we must work to understand and be understood, we must listen, we must walk a mile in the moccasins… I’m beginning to think I’m talking to myself. I’m reminded of a Wendy’s commercial from the 80s when the bun was big and the burger was really small. The lil’ lady kept asking “Where’s the beef?” After she got no answer, she finally decides “I don’t think there’s anybody back there!” Today I’m asking is there anybody back there? Back there at civility, at common sense, at respect for others, at tolerance and appreciation? Apparently not.

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Uncertainty, Angst, and Confusion Will Not Define Us

Confident woman

I believe what we do today is more important than what we say. When it comes to what makes us human, and what makes us powerful, our actions are more powerful than words. For instance, if I say a million times that I love and honor you, but I show you contempt, neglect, and disrespect, my words are hollow and useless.

This week I am struggling with what I’m feeling, and how to express it. Since fourth grade I have taken to my pen when I was troubled or happy or inspired, and I’ve found solace there. Considering recent events, I’m not sure if I’m inspired, tired, sad, angry, hopeful, troubled, a combination of all of these, or just overwhelmed. Thankfully, from everything I am reading, hearing, and seeing, I’m not alone in my angst.

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Congratulations to 2020 Graduates

Fresh Graduates

Congratulations to 2020 graduates – here’s to new beginnings

I’m loving all the ways our neighbors and friends have found to celebrate this year’s graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parades, virtual ceremonies, celebrity speeches—this virus brought out tons of ingenuity and creativity, so this rite of passage got the attention it deserved.

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What a Difference a Week Makes

Protest over George Floyd's Death

We are our brothers and sisters’ keeper…let’s act like it!

What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday our concern was COVID-19 and a return to “normalcy.” This week I watched the Coopers—Amy calling 911 when Christian—no relation—asked her to leash her dog. When he refused to stop recording their conversation, she threatened to falsely tell police she was being accosted by an African American man. She began acting hysterically and made the call.

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