By Vernalee
As you probably recall, I love watching award shows and this young man that we call Drake – recently broke a 32-year record for the most American Music Awards (2016) nominations with 13 nods, beating Michael Jackson’s previous high mark of 11 from 1984. He won four.
To set the record straight, I have never purchased a rap album/cd and I did not buy Drake’s platinum “Hotline Bling” track.
And no, I am not running around singing Drake’s suggestive lyrics, “Call me on my cell phone.”
However, I love quotable quotes and his are impressive and thought provoking.
I became familiar with Drake in 2010 when riding in Atlanta with my daughter as she was listening to “I’m Doing Me,” one of his top hits, which was coincidentally the title of my first book.
So I guess you could say that he and I have something in common.
I discounted the knowledge of a newly discovered fact that his Uncle is singer bass guitarist Larry Graham, one of my all time favorites and contemporaries. At 30, Rapper Aubrey Drake Graham is younger than my son and daughter, but he does have a way with words that can capture anyone’s attention; so much so that his work was recently featured on The Today Show.
The segment was a quiz to determine what quotes came from Drake and which from Hallmark Greeting Cards. Incredible depth and comparison, I’ll say!
So here goes 25 of Drake’s top motivational quotes:
1. “Never let success get to your head and failure to your heart.”
2. “Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.”
3. “Haters will broadcast your failures, but whisper your success.”
4. “People will wish you all the success in the world and then hate you when you get it.”
5. “Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.”
6. “Judge me, and you’ll have no time left to love me.”
7. “It’s never too late to realize what you want in your life and it’s never wrong to fight for it.”
8. “You know its real when you are who you think you are.”
9. “Smile and let everyone know that today, you’re a lot stronger than you were yesterday.”
10. “Strength isn’t always shown in what you can hold on to, sometimes it’s shown in what you can let go of.”
11. “I’m not confrontational, but if someone challenges, I’m not going to back down.”
12. “Always felt like my vision has been bigger than the bigger picture.”
13. “Everybody dies but not everybody lives.”
14. “The moment I stop having fun with it, I’ll be done with it.”
15. “Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination.”
16. “Know life is just a game in which the cards are facing down. I’m in the world where things are taken, never given; how long they choose to love you will never be your decision.”
17. “I was born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection.”
18. “Life can always change, you have to adjust.”
19. “Pain makes you stronger. Fear makes you braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser.”
20. “Count your blessings, not problems.”
21. “Everybody has an addiction, mine happens to be success.”
22. “I’m trying to do better than good enough.”
23. “Before you give up, think of the reason you held on so long.”
24. “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”
25. “When you look ahead and darkness is all you see, that’s when your faith and determination will pull you through.”
Without question, the above quotes as his lyrics embrace wisdom. I intend to use a few of Drake’s quotes from time to time.
All I can say to Drake is that you definitely know how to bring the message home even to a woman old enough to be your Mother!
I am aware that you are known to make many extemporaneous moves.
So … My dear, if you care to call me on my cell phone, do know that generally I take all of my calls! Certainly, yours would be my pleasure!
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By Vernalee
Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Opportunities come and go.
Contrary to popular opinion, they do come around more than once.
It should be our goal to take advantage of all of them, rather than waiting on another one to appear.
When we cannot cash in on an opportunity, particularly a desirable one, frustrations and disappointments can easily fill our space. Sometimes the lack of accomplishing an opportunity can dampen our spirits.
As tough as it may be – stay determined and keep going.
Look forward, not backwards!
There is no time to be in the “dumps.”
There are opened and closed doors for a reason or reasons. Sometimes your entry or exit may be counted as blessings instead of regrets.
Here’s why:
1. Some doors were meant to close…so that you can go in a new direction.
You may have to do the following.
2. Nail some doors shut if you have to. Let go!
3. Stop looking at the closed door so that your eyes will see the new one open.
4. Expect more closed doors to follow. Sometimes more than one need to close for you to find the right one.
5. Remove fear. Don’t be scared of the open door. They may signal opportunities. Go for it!
6. Kick down a door that you really want opened. Make your own path.
7. Control your emotions. Don’t get upset when your closed door opens for someone else. That door was meant for them, not you.
As it relates to closed door, old folks in their infinite spiritual insight would say, “God has another plan for you. Go where he leads you. He may want you to be somewhere else.”
Keep in mind that closed doors are similar to roadblocks deterring you from the wrong path so that you get on the right one.
Be prepared so that when the right door swings opens, you will be ready to maximize the opportunities as you capably walk in and capture the splendor!
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By Vernalee
I am about to reveal a fact that some folks have forgotten about themselves!
Drumroll please!
You make mistakes!
You are not perfect!
That’s right.
Follow the three step process of the Triple A’s – Admit, Address, Act.
Once that fact is truly acknowledged, what will you do the next time you misstep?
There is a fallacy that the first to come forward, apologize or say, “I’m sorry” loses their position of dominance and is classified as the weakest.
Quite the contrary … Being the first doesn’t demonstrate weakness, it expresses strength, courage and recognition of the issue.
It also lifts the weight of the issue off your back and conscience.
Wow, I feel lighter already; don’t you?
Stop worrying about who comes forth first.
Concern yourself with being the “bigger” person who does the right thing!
You can be the bravest, the strongest, and the happiest – if you apologize, forgive, and forget.
Don’t just take my word!
Try it!
See for yourself!
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By Vernalee
imageSometimes, it cannot always be business as usual.
Change is necessary to foster progress. For many, change poses a reluctance. Why upset the apple cart?
However, change is imperative in many situations, which brings me to one of my favorite management cliches: Thinking outside the box.
“Thinking outside the box is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective.
It refers to novel or creative thinking. Originating in the 1970s and 1980s, this expression poses a challenge to solve the so-called “nine dots” puzzle, whose solution requires some lateral thinking. To think outside the box is to look further and to try not thinking of the obvious things, but to try thinking of the things beyond them.”
To do so may require a paradigm shift in our thought processes and our methodology to problem solving.
In that light, I share with you many wise sayings that will if no more encourage critical thinking.
Here goes:
* When nothing goes right … Go left.
* “Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.” (Deepak Chopra)
* Thinking is not enough, you have to act.
* The 6 thinking hats are: Thinking About Thinking; Data/Info; Creative Thinking; Benefits/Value/Logic; Critical Thinking; Feelings/Intuition, Hunches, Emotions.
* “Being able to think outside the box presupposes you were able to think in it.” (Bob Lutz).
* To live a creative life, we must loose our fear of being wrong.
* “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” (Albert Einstein).
As for me, I occasionally think out loud. Yes, I have been known to put on my thinking hat.
It is imperative to move our agenda forward which means that we must step out the box … as needed.
If To “Vernalize” this point, I share with you one of my personal mottos: “If it is to be, it is left up to me.”
Today is a national holiday in the Lee Family. It is my youngest, Phoebe’s birthday. She definitely thinks out of the box and will move the box if it gets in her way. A very family centered, driven, and spiritual daughter, may God bless you for all that you unselfishly do for our family! Happy Birthday and Blessings Phoebe! God’s Speed!
Photo credit:; Source: Wikipedia


By Vernalee
Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church. So the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost.
As they were allegedly “shouting,” the little girls started rolling on the floor. Much to her chagrin, when my daughter opened her eyes, she saw her perturbed Grandmother standing before her. Her Grandma Phoebe with her Bible in her hands sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to my daughter at the time.
It was quite embarrassing.
It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong spiritual lesson. Galatians 6:7 states, “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Although this story is one of her favorite spiritual childhood memories and Grandma stories about her trips down South, she holds dear Galatians 6:9 as a spiritual cornerstone. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Happy Sunday.
God Bless!
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PostHeaderIcon THE “S” WORD

By Vernalee
heather on her
The “S” word – after all these years – I dread hearing and worst yet, seeing it! Snow, snow, and more snow!
Welcome to winter wonderland! Despite the mild temperatures that we recently had, winter is now in full bloom.
Accompanied by swift blowing winds and frigid cold single digit and below zero temperatures, falling snow has arrived!
Those tiny white crystal flakes (marvelously made where no two flakes are the same) have fallen from the sky and lined our yards and driveways…as expected, once again!
It’s a yearly ritual.
A glimpse out of your window shows piles of mountainous white stacks of those flakes as far as your eyes can see.
Snow is everywhere.
Lest not forget the ice sickles!
Soon, we will be watching kids play in the snow. They build snowmen, slid down the slippery slopes and roll in the snow’s glistening whiteness; all in the name of fun!
Some folks cannot wait for the ski slopes to be covered with those white glorious flakes … and a gliding they will go!
There’s more!
When your morning is consumed by listening to NBC’s Weatherman Al Roker tell you how many inches will fall in “your neck of the woods,” it’s too much! It takes me over the edge!
I need not be reminded of the white flakes. We have never been on friendly terms!
Driving in it can be challenging; sliding, swerving, gliding everywhere. A normal 30 minute commute can easily become a 2 hour journey with the accumulation of that rapidly falling “white stuff.” Snow can bring traffic to a squealing halt; as it recently did in Cleveland, Ohio! Need I remind those who were stuck in it!
Going out of your door requires planned preparation. Included in this exit amongst other things are – shoveling your pathway/driveway; layering your body with tons of clothing to keep warm (aw shucks, I forgot my gloves again); putting on fur lined boots; keeping a survival kit in your vehicle; need I say more!
For those lovers of cold weather and snow flakes, don’t take this the wrong way. You can stay in the chill!
As for me, I am looking for a warm retreat. Perhaps, the glaring sun of my native Mississippi spoiled me!
I must find me a vacation home where I can escape for the winter months. I’m surprised that I have endured the chills this long. There’s no better time than the present to start the market search.
That beach front property on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi is looking very tempting!
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By Vernalee
It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Nelson Mandela

“It’s too much; I cannot do it; it’s too weighty on my heart and mind; it is an impossible task.”
How many times have you heard that or said it yourself? How many times have you wanted to just give up? When it is not easy and the answers are not at your fingertip, the job can become overwhelming; particularly when you want it to happen immediately.
The beauty of accomplishment is that once all is done, you forget about its arduousness.
Perseverance is key. Here’s how we can do it.
1. Strengthening your resolve.
A. Know what you want.
B. Get rid of self doubt.
C. Practice staying cool.
D. Don’t get dragged down by haters.
E. Know your value.
F. Enjoy life.
2. Dealing with obstacles.
A. Face reality.
B. Weigh your options carefully.
C. Listen to your conscience.
D. Stand up for yourself.
E. Learn from your mistakes.
3. Staying resilient.
A. Keep your mind and body healthy.
B. Keep things in perspective.
C. Nourish your spirituality.
D. Stay true to who you are.
As the late great Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Let that statement motivate you to move forward and beyond adversities.
You might be pleasantly surprised at what lies within and ahead.
We often underestimate our inner strength and ourselves!
Photo credit: Source:


By Vernalee
gypsy nester
Gray hairs show years of living.
As Proverbs state, “Gray hairs are crowns of glory.”
Amazing wisdom those gray strings provide.
That is why – listening to our elders pay off!
Try it!
After talking to our elders, we will realize that there is truly nothing new under the sun!
They have most likely experienced or witnessed whatever we are attempting or undergoing.
“Bought sense or learned sense” is the optimal catchall phrase.
Do you want to learn from others’ experience or do you want to “buy” your sense and try everything yourself?
As for me, give me that gray haired wisdom!
I love sage advice. I don’t mind listening and learning.
I have avoided “many a headaches” from those gray headed ones!
My late Mother would always say, “I’ve seen a little bit of this and little bit of that.” Because of her life experience, her advice often saved me once I realized around age 35 or so that she really knew more that me!
You know in our teenage and young adult years, we feel that we know it all.
It is not until we realize that there is no need in reinventing the wheel or learning everything the hard way (when there is a template of experience), that we actually grow!
It’s called maturity.
Call me a copy cat if you will, but that hand me down wisdom has saved me a lot of grief…and time!
I’m appreciative!
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By Vernalee

Do you know who your real friends are?
May be this description can help you.
Fake Friends – Never ask for food.
Real Friends – Are the reason you have No Food.
Fake Friends – Call your parents Mr./Mrs.
Real Friends – Call your parents DAD/MOM.
Fake Friends – Have never seen you cry.
Real Friends – Cry with you.
Fake Friends – Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.
Real Friends – Keep your stuff so long they forgot it was yours.
Fake Friends – Know about you.
Real Friends – Could write a book about you.
Fake Friends – Would knock on your front door.
Real Friends – Walk right in and say I’m home.
Fake Friends – Will help you when you fall over.
Real Friends – Will jump on top of you and shout “Dog – Pile.”
Fake Friends – Are around for a while.
Real Friends – Are around for life.
Fake Friends – Say “Love you” in a joking manner.
Real Friends – Say “I love you” and mean it.
Fake Friends – Will read this.
Real Friends – Will steal this.
Note: Some things are already written, you merely need to duplicate the content. Thus, was the case for the description of real versus fake friends. I give full editorial credit because I am real and not fake! 
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By Vernalee
There are some messages that you hear that resonates. “The Seven Ups of Life” is one of them. Motivational and uplifting, take a look.

1. Wake Up –
Decide to have a good day.
“Today is the day the Lord hath made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up —
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.
A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at outward appearance;
but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up —
Say nice things and learn to listen.
“Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise.”
Proverbs 19:20

4. Stand Up —
For what you believe in.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything.
“Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time,
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”
Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up —
To the Lord.
“I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up —
For something higher.
“…keep seeking the things above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.”
Colossians 3:1

7. Lift Up —
Your Prayers.
“Do not worry about anything;
Philippians 4:6

For certain, being up is better than its alternative – being down!
Positive thinking and actions are assets. If you continue in the right direction with hard work, a defined plan, and determination, you will reach your ultimate destination…successfully!
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