Archive for March, 2014

PostHeaderIcon The color black!

By Vernalee
Black dog
It’s amazing! In watching a segment on the Today Show, I learned about the phenomenon called black dog syndrome. Apparently, because of the color of their fur, black dogs have a tougher time being adopted from the animal shelters. One of the reported reasons is that black dogs don’t photograph well, which of course makes them less preferred than the dogs with lighter colored furs. Sounds familiar! Yes, that’s right! Black dogs are passed over too! Of course, black dogs are cuddly; make good watch dogs and pets like their lighter colored dog mates. Discrimination because of the color of your skin or in this case, the color of their fur, never ceases to end! So dogs receive the blunt of the color hardship, innocently if I must say, just like us Black folks. People just can’t get over this color thing – whether you are a four legged animal or a two legged human. Alright, I will not challenge the well-known axiom, “Dog is man’s best friend.” I will sarcastically throw in a slight realistic caveat to this catchphrase; a modified version. My proposed tagline reads “A black dog can be man’s best friend” if man decides to take him home! I never imagined that discrimination based upon color existed in the dog pound! Dag!
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Doesn’t the black pup in the photograph look adorable?

PostHeaderIcon Making up your bed everyday – what a hassle!

By Vernalee

Growing up, my Mother insisted that we make up our beds immediately after we got up. It was one of her pet peeves that as a teenager, I resented. Sorry Mother! Once up, going back to bed was not encouraged. Sitting on the side of the bed was unthinkable. After all, it was a bed, not a chair.
50 plus years later, I find myself making my bed the moment I get up. Old habits die hard! In fact, I cannot retire to a bed that has not been made. I must make it up first. Some of my girlfriends who were similarly taught can happily roll around in the covers of an unmade bed! As for me, though this routine was beaten into my head, it formed a lasing impact. I have however gotten smarter over the years. With age comes wisdom! Nothing beats innovations and creative thinking, even if it is regarded as lightweight cheating. These days, I never pull back the covers because I now sleep on top of them; I cover by body with a blanket. So when I wake up bright and early, I merely fold the blanket, adjust the covers … And Bingo …my bed is like new; immaculately contoured! Just like Momma taught me!
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PostHeaderIcon Shopping with the Prez!

By Vernalee
I might be a dollar short and a few days late in reporting this sighting, but I was thrilled to see President Obama shopping at The Gap in NYC. I realize that his appearance had a political and public relations angle since The Gap has raised its hourly minimum wage for its workers from $7.25 to $10.10, but he is such a natural!
Okay guys, follow President Obama’s sterling example to buy gifts for your wife and family when traveling. I am sure that the Obama ladies enjoyed their new garbs. It’s the thought that counts!
By spending $154.85, the Prez also did his part to stimulate the economy. What a President! What a man!
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PostHeaderIcon I’m Addicted!

By Vernalee
coffee -
I must confess! I cannot get going in the morning without a pick me upper. Join my girlfriends, sisters, relatives, and tons of others who need that shot of caffeine to get them started. I am dragging until I have my Cup of Joe. The world just doesn’t look the same without it. If I wait too long, I get a headache which is my internal signal that I have not sipped my Arabica beans yet. Yes, that’s right! I’m addicted!
Coffee keeps me and others focused, increase our concentration, boost our memories as it keeps us awake. It is one of a few selected products that has no specific demographical following. Old and young folks drink it. All races and nationalities sip its robust flavor. It is indeed a universal drink with an aroma that smells as good as it tastes.
Statistically, there are approximately 100 million daily coffee drinkers in the United States. Most Americans drink 3 cups of coffee daily. Suffice to calculate that $18 million is annually spent on specialty coffees alone.
Geez…The coffee varieties are incredible. It can be consumed hot or cold, with or without cream, with or without sugar; or integrated into specialty drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and Frappuccino’s. French vanilla is one of my favorite flavored coffees. Do know that a double shot of espresso cures most hangovers! Coffee houses are everywhere. Crowds sit around Panera Bread and Starbucks chatting and drinking for hours because coffee relaxes us as it facilitates conversation. Once I have my first cup in the morning, I showcase a smiley happy face just like the one pictured in the above coffee cup. Most coffee addicts do!
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PostHeaderIcon Do you “suit up” for work?

By Vernalee
Suits…I know that you initially thought that I was referring to you being glamorously attired in a two or three piece business suit with a frilly blouse. However in this case, I am speaking of the defense garbs, your protective outerwear. Emotional punches are thrown all day from the time you walk in until the minute you exit. You must condition your mind to withstand the blows and rope -a -dope hits. You may encounter a cadre of bosses ranging from those who have Mt. Everest height egos to those who know everything. On the sidelines are those who are discriminatory, mean spirited and arrogant. Walking alongside this group are the bullies who run the “A to Z” gamut of creating fear, anxieties, pressures, and pain as they orchestrate their mastery of being the big boss man. The job site is filled with tainted air whose fragrances stench of conceited aromas. No wonder some of the more talented and lucky ones vacate at the first opportunity to leave. Others may have to endure for mere survival, but their day will come!
I can’t answer why some of the higher ups aren’t humanistic or more civilized. I can’t comprehend their superiority filled attitudes and actions. I praise those bosses who foster environments of equality and fair play. They have realized that the job can be accomplished without intimidation.
So to protect myself, I must walk in “suited up” like Laila Ali ….just in case! My mind is my protective suit of armor. Power to power ain’t a joke; it’s an equalizer in a hostile work environment.
Photo reprint: www.freedigital; courtesy of Stockimages.

PostHeaderIcon A different view of a new me

By Vernalee
A renowned politician told me years ago that I should run for political office. Me? Wow, flattery gets you everywhere! I honestly never thought that I would make a good candidate. However, I will confess that I have the uncanny ability to say things that are soft to the ears. Through the years, I have managed to maintain a position of neutrality on most subjects. It’s the political way – never take an outright position on anything! I love to tell people what they want to hear, which usually is not the complete truth. Clever! How politically wise of me!

“Time brings about a change.” My sixties have to be different. So, I am gearing up to “have my say!” After looking in the mirror at the new me, I am itching to tell a number of people what I really think! Get in line – Liars, cheater, haters, pretentious “laugh in my face, stab me behind my back” characters, and many others in the world of phoniness …You know who you are! Have I got something for you! I believe that I might take pleasure in my new role. I have been holding back for years. Unlike my fellow evildoers, I never had willful ill intent or malice in my heart. I still don’t. I just want to take a photo of you squirming when the magic mirror exposes your shenanigans. I can’t wait! Remember it was you – great one – who said I had a way with words. So here they come! 
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PostHeaderIcon An unexpected betrayal

By Vernalee
I count Julius Caesar as my most favored Shakespearian play. The plot is absolutely fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time. Often I have imagined how Caesar felt when he was attacked by a mob. Sadder still was when he saw his friend Marcus Brutus in the crowd. “Et tu Brute?” was supposedly his last words. The Latin phrase which translates into – “and you too Brutus?” – was I am sure just as devastatingly piercing as the knife that entered his back. To be betrayed by your closest ally, your buddy, your friend is an unexpected course of nature. Those are the people that you expect to care and be on your side, to be your protectors, to warn you rather than participate in destroying you. If you as I have uttered the words, “Et tu Brute?” with our Brutus having a contemporary presence of a John, Sally, Jane, or George…how sad! What’s even sadder is that our friends know us so well that they can destroy us inconspicuously and effortlessly. We, like Caesar would never know what hit us! Since today’s technology gives unparalleled access, we should “keep our enemies close and our friends, closer.” Ineffably, a betrayal by your friend is atrociously calamitous! It is a disloyalty that dreadfully lives within your soul forever!
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PostHeaderIcon Give me that old time religion!

By Vernalee
mourners bench

The baptismal tradition in the South was a serious undertaking. The first step was to pray before the church as you kneeled on the mourner’s bench. It was a “coming together” because the church prayed with you. After successful prayers of forgiveness and repentance, you became a candidate for water baptism. On a designated Sunday morning, dressed in pure white, baptismal candidates prepared for their immersions.
In my home town of Glen Allan, Mississippi, the baptismal candidates, their families, the pastor and congregation marched to the bank of Lake Washington. It was a major celebration as most of the town looked on to witness those being “born again” as they came to Christ. The traditional old Negro spirituals that were sung included “Take me to the Water to be baptized,” “Wade in the Water,” “Precious Lord” … among others. After coming out of the water as a new baptized saint, it was your duty to serve the Lord! Your conduct was to be reflective of a new you with a renewed Christian spirit and heart!
The Mothers of the church would invariably sing “Something got a hold on me” and the pastor would say, “Let the church say Amen!”
Reminiscing, I say Happy Sunday and Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
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PostHeaderIcon Are you playing games with yourself?

By Vernalee
What are you doing and who are you trying to fool? Are you playing games with yourself to keep someone from looking bad or are you that bored? When all is said and done, you will wake up out of your fantasy world, in the same manner before you closed your eyes to sleep. You are only fooling yourself. If you want to entertain yourself, play a game of solitaire and get over it, him, or whatever / whomever you are shielding! You control the cards when you are the dealer and the player.
Deal yourself a winning hand. Always, play to win. You will probably look and feel better when you do!
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PostHeaderIcon Tomorrow will be a sick day

By Vernalee
ferris bueller
Maybe, you have figured it out! I am calling off tomorrow. I have decided to take a sick day. Besides, I can accumulate sick days and they are there for me to use. Why touch my vacation days, when they translate into money in the bank. Of course, I am not ill today and I do not anticipate feeling bad tomorrow. I need to rest my body and my mind from the insanity that goes on at work. Just as the sun rises in the east, for sure, I know that on the jobsite tomorrow, it will be another cut throat, conniving, scheming day. The workplace shenanigans occur like clockwork. Each workday has its share of ruthlessness. There are no bona fide leaders and the semblances of supervisors look the other way.
Some may call this – fake sick time. Who cares when the majority of the workers are fakes? What a seamless blending of the two! Everyone is innocently carefree because they wear rubber sole shoes that invisibly kick your behind with no traceable footprints. Because they shoot bullets from afar, I will definitely stay in the house tomorrow. I will not be caught on the golf course or in the malls, because that is where the bosses routinely play hooky. I am legitimizing my sick leave as I escape a day of anticipated misery. After all, it is my mental health day … or days, if more than one is necessary. I am thinking ahead. When I finally “hang up my hat”, my plan is to not leave any earned time on the table for my colleagues to take. They have stolen enough!
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