Top Five Friday

Where does your vested interest lie?  Financially or not. It’s a known fact that when you are vested in something and have a stake in gains or losses you naturally want the best outcome.  You take pride in it, are passionate about it, and willing to give what it takes to succeed. Find that special something that will give you back the charisma you’ve been looking for; the spark that will get you out of the bed in the mornings; that something that will make it all worth your while.

 Today’s Top Five Friday topic:  Count me in

. join a book club

: take a cooking class

:. exercise

:: volunteer

::. take a chance

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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TOP FIVE FRIDAY

 

Countdown to Shutdown

2011 Federal Government Furlough?

While the battle between Senate Democrats and House Republicans ensues over agreement of the FY 2011 budget appropriations, the brunt of the quarrelsome political parties is about to be felt by hundreds of thousands of federal employees, myself included.  We are already seven months into the current fiscal year and working under the sixth Continuing Resolution through April 8, 2011.  There are several issues at hand that seem to have the political party at an impasse with no end in sight.  If the two sides don’t finalize negotiations or perhaps pass another temporary continuing resolution to keep the government operating, the shutdown of most of the government will begin at midnight. 

 

There’s nothing worse it seems than messing with a man’s family, his food, or especially his money.  What comes to mind for me are some of my all time favorite quotes from Big Worm, from the movie Friday, Ray Gibson, from the movie Life, and Rod Tidwell, from the movie Jerry Maguire.   

Today’s Top Five Friday:  Government –vs- The People

You got my money?

I had to warn you too many times about my money, Smokey. You see, it’s the principal. There’s principalities in the whole thing.

Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions, Smokey

Nobody take no cornbread from me. You f… around with me, there’s gonna be consequences and repercussions.

It’s a very personal, a very important thing. Hell, it’s a family motto. SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY!

Published in: on April 9, 2011 at 12:03 am  Comments (1)  
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Top Five Friday

Women’s History Month

5 Great Internet Finds for Empowering Women

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: Top Women’s Organizations

Healthy Womenhttp://www.healthywomen.org/

When it comes to health, smart choices start with informed women. HealthyWomen provides women with easy-to-access information about health-related issues. Best of all, what you’ll find is trustworthy material that’s unlike anything on other sites. The award-winning site has even been recommended as a go-to by Doctor Oz!

Step Up Women’s Network –  http://www.suwn.org/?v=1

“Simply stated, Step Up connects you to the professional women you need and the underserved teen girls who need you.”

Fatigues to Fabuloushttp://www.fatiguestofabulous.com/

National program designed to fit the needs of female veterans, focusing on five areas: education, jobs, healthcare, family support and finance.

Nesthttp://www.buildanest.com/index4.asp

Nest gives women in underprivileged countries a chance to start their own businesses by providing small loans and a business curriculum. But unlike your usual loans, Nest loan recipients “repay” the company with their crafts and finished products—indeed different than your everyday “microfinance” organization!

V-Dayhttp://www.vday.org/home

From performances and films (you may be familiar with The Vagina Monologues), to local campaigns and large-scale benefits, V-Day constantly generates wide-spread awareness of violence against women and girls. The corporation, started by Eve Ensler, works with grassroots, national and international organizations to provide women with shelter and support in 130 countries across the globe.

[Source: Sheckys.com]

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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TOP FIVE FRIDAY

It sure may not feel like it some days; but you are WINNING!  You are winning at the game of life.  You woke up this morning, right?  Well, there you have it.  WINNING!  This is the pep talk I’ve had to give to myself lately.  Let me tell you, these past few weeks for me have been hard.  I mean you name it, I’ve felt picked on, beat down, down trodden, misused and abused.  With hardly any minute in between to catch my breath.  Could I have at least been spared some protective head gear, knee pads, or chin guards.  Nope, nada.  That’s just how life is sometimes.  It chews you up and spits you out, hopefully leaving you with a valuable lesson learned or testimony to share.  So, I guess that’s where I am today, bandaged and bruised, but not broken!  Still, WINNING!

Today’s Top Five Friday topic:  How I know I’m Winning!

 .    I am a sinner; saved by God’s grace

 :    I’m still standing

 :.   I love who I am

 ::   I know that everyday restarts the clock for second chances

 ::.  I am on this earth for a purpose

Yes, it’s tough.  No one said it would be easy.  The question isn’t “Why me?”, but …“Why NOT me?” 

Recognize drama as life’s little distractions trying to sit you out of the game.

[Check out other Top Five Friday.  You may be interested in reading Purposeful Life]

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm  Comments (1)  
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Top Five Friday

O Spring, Spring! wherefore art thou Spring? 

Deny thy mother nature and refuse thy cold days of winter; Or, if thou wilt not, be but Spring soon my love, And I’ll no longer be without your warmth against my skin.

˜My Shakespearian version of Romeo and Juliet˜

 Today’s Top Five Friday Topic: What I love about Spring

  .  prolonged days of sundrenched light

 :  strappy sundresses,  flip flops, and painted toes

:.  endless colors of budding flowers, and trailing hanging baskets

::  live jazz, a picnic basket, and a bottle of wine

::. the promise of knowing that Summer is only a few months away

What are your top five reasons you can’t wait ’til Spring arrives?

By the way, don’t forget daylight savings time this weekend.  Be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.  Oh, but another sign that Spring is near!

[Photo credit: Thomas Blackshear (Ebony Vision)]

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm  Comments (3)  
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Top Five Friday

HEALING

I am declaring today a movement for healing.  NyQuil is never enough to relieve the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, and fever. We need to turn to God’s promises for health and healing. Our blessings come from the Divine Physician.

Today’s Top Five topic:  Bible Scriptures of Healing

Isaiah 40:28-29

28 The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator
of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.                      
29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who
have no might He increases strength.

Isaiah 40:31

31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles; 
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 43:1-2

1 Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you
by your name; you are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
 
Isaiah 53:4-5
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed Him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was bruised for our iniquities;
the chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
and by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 58:8

8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
your healing shall spring forth speedily; and
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

All scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm  Comments (5)  
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Top Five Friday

 

There is a lot to be said about a person’s name. Many stereotypes and opinions are formed merely on the basis of a first name. We all know the black community is famous for naming their children after such things as luxurious cars, brown liquor, a mixed drink, a popular celebrity, or maybe a combination of the mother’s and father’s first names to create that one-of-a-kind even harder name to pronounce.

But surprisingly, black people aren’t the only ones these days with the ingenious knack for putting a spin on traditional names.  Parents of other races are expressing their selves just as much by giving their children distinctively original names and unique spellings as well.  They have gone as far as  naming their children after fruit, cities, days of the week, and fairies to mention a few. 

No wonder Pope Benedict XVI recently made a plea last month to all parents to give their children more traditional Christian names.  The Daily Mail quoted him as saying

…a child’s Christian name is an ‘indelible sign from the Holy Spirit’ and protects family life, which is ‘being threatened’.

According to the article, a priest can refuse to baptise a child if the name given is not recognised. More interesting is that Denmark, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Argentina are among those countries which publish lists of acceptable names from which parents must choose.  Portugal has banned the names Lolita, Maradona and Mona Lisa.

An amazing Black History fact proven by the 2000 U.S. Census data reveals that while parents have a choice in the right of the birth name of their children, there are some last names passed down from generation to generation that just can’t shake the racial connotations and are automatically dubbed a common African American surname.    

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: The Blackest Last Names in America

90% – Washington
75% – Jefferson
53% – Jackson
46% – Williams
37% – Jones

One of the most lasting legacies is in a name; how will you make history?  Do you believe that parents do their children a disservice by naming them untraditional names?  Should we take pride in our black surnames, or are these just slave names too?

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 11:32 am  Comments (3)  
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Top Five Friday

Words That Pay Off

Looking for that win-win situation that leaves everyone happy and no one feeling that the other has compromised? Then look no further; I think I may have discovered the answer. It’s as simple as speaking your mind in a kinder, healthier way to get more of the behavior you do want and less of the hostile pushback you don’t. The old adage, It’s not what you say, but how you say it, still holds true. So don’t discount the power of your words. Failing to effectively convey your thoughts, express your expectations, disappointments, and desires can mean the difference between losing ground or gaining the end result you are personally aiming for.

Fortunately, there is a method to all this madness known as COMMUNICATION.  According to a May 2008 O Magazine article, How to Say I Hate You More Lovingly, there is an Attack Mode and Smart Mode of communication.  Here are some examples of ways to say what you mean AND mean what you say, without coming across as the bad guy. Try using some of these tactics at home and in the workplace.

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: Words that Pay Off

 ATTACK MODE:                                                 SMART MODE:

 

 “You and your family are horrible every time we get together. When they’re not boring me to tears, they’re usually offending me.”

  

 “I don’t always enjoy being with your family.  I feel left out of the conversation, and sometimes I strongly disagree with what they’re saying.”

  

 “No, that won’t work at all. Just let me handle the client files the right way.”

  

 “I’m not sure if that will work. What if we did it this way?”

  

“You’re so bossy with the kids, they just run away, and I don’t blame them. You need to lighten up.”

   

“Like you, I’m concerned about the kids. And I’m tempted to clamp down on them—but I’m worried that it will backfire if we do it too forcefully.”

  

“I never want to go there again for vacation. We’re still paying for that stupid idea of yours.”

   

 “I didn’t like that place as much as I’d  hoped. Maybe we could go over a list of new places we might enjoy.”

  “I’m much better at the whole money thing than you are. Honestly, you need to listen to me on this.”   

  “I understand what you’re saying about our finances. I have some good ideas about it, too.”



“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

          –Maya Angelou

Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 11:31 am  Comments (2)  

Top Five Friday

Best of  Black Love

You’re awaken by a quartet of violins playing under your window as your lover proclaims his love for you, he looks deeply into your eyes, kisses you softly, and then says “You complete Me”.  Think this kind of thing only happens in the movies?  Yeah, well, it doesn’t have to.  No need to wait for Valentine’s Day to make your own romantic love scene.  While you’re at it take a look back at some of the most memorable moments on the silver screen of  black love and romance. 

Today’s Top Five Topic:  Best Black Romantic Movies

 

[image credit: John Holyfield]

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Top Five Friday

Behind the scenes.

I’m starting this weeks Top Five Friday off a little differently today. Think of it as a bit of a behind the scenes look at how most concepts for Top Five Fridays are created.

I frequently get asked the question, “How do you come up with your topics?” My short answer, “Ancient, Chinese Secret!”. (Remember that old Calgon detergent commercial?) Alright, just kidding. So ask me again; and I’ll tell you that generally my ideas stem from something that I have encountered in my everyday life. My topics may be spurred by a recent conversation I’ve had, current events, or I’m simply coaching myself through a woe-is-me moment; hence the tons of motivational posts. 🙂 Couple this with several late nights and there you have it. There’s no denying that it has been lots of hard work too, but it has been worth every minute of it.

So now I know you’ll understand when I tell you that today’s Top Five Friday couldn’t be more befitting as an end of week topic for the Like Water series. Case in point, you remember my winter storm adventure last Wednesday, Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail, The Nor’Easter Post Mortem. Well, can you believe that just yesterday I read an article from MSNBC.com entitled “5 Ways To Keep Your Commute from Killing You”. The article is about ways of coping with your daily commute to and from work for a more healthier experience. See all the connections?! — my drama, personal health. It’s all relative. O.K.A.Y., you stick to reading and I’ll stick with this writing thing. 😉 Moving on…

when all you see is RED!

Ask anyone in the Washington, DC metropolitan area what the worst part of their morning is and you’ll most likely hear, “TRAFFIC!”  Just the mere thought of it can send your blood pressure sky rocketing, make you lose you religion, or damn sure push you over the edge.   And to add even more insult to injury, according to a 2010 Urban Mobility Report, the gridlock is getting worse.  Some try to find some solace from the commuter chaos by riding the subway, bus or train. Even then you run the chance of contending with crowds, delayed trains or buses, and the occassional abnoxious passenger from hell.  Still most of us are left with no choice but to drive our own cars and brave the rush hour traffic jam because of scheduling conflicts, distance, or even daycare arrangements.  In the latest MSNBC.com article entitled “5 Ways To Keep Your Commute from Killing You” you’ll find ways to help you keep your sanity and at the same time get your health in check.  Below are a few of the main points of the article.  But, be sure to read it for yourself; your body will thank you for it later!

Today’s Top Five Topic: Beating the Commuter Blues

. Laugh to keep from crying: Listening to comedy while stuck in traffic will distract you from worrying and can lower stress.

A good laugh lowers levels of stress homones

: Avoid being bored to death, literally.  Instead turn up your favorite song or listen to an audio book.

Last year, British researchers published a papaer that suggested a link between chronic listlessness and heart problems. 

:. Relax, Relate, Release: Practice deep breathing techniques, and shoulder/neck exercises to release the tension.

Roll your shoulders, loosen your grip on the wheel and spread out your fingers.

:: Steer clear from road rage: Agressive driving makes the commute that much worse.

… instead of letting anger over traffic or agressive drivers make you act the same way, use this “downtime” in a positive, productive way. 

::. Think happy, be happy:  Don’t let the commute steal your joy.  Instead focus on something you are thankful for or appreciate.

… turn fatigue and resentment around.  You may just arrive at your destination in a more content physical and emotional state.

How do you beat the commuter blues? Or, share the story of your worse commute ever.

Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 7:53 am  Comments (2)  
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