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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears"  ~ Les Brown

"All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney

"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I was speaking with a friend last night.  We hadn't spoken in some time but spoke as if we had not had a break.  We spoke about finding our purpose and living our passions.  I said to her that I wasn't sure of my passion.  I know what I believe is my purpose but I am not sure exactly how to implement it.  I've known her for more than 25 years and we have had these same types of conversations for most of that time.  

As she spoke she made a comment about something she wondered if she should do.  I was immediately reminded of something I wanted to do back in the 90's and of something she said that I should incorporate into that idea.  I told her and she remembered, she said she never forgot. Then she went on to talk about the idea and the name I wanted to use.  I told her that I had forgotten all about the idea and the name until this conversation and her saying the name.  I asked, "How do we forget our dreams?  Was it not important to us? Was it really a dream?"  We concluded that the dream is still within us, (because I remembered as soon as I heard a reminder) but we place them on the back burner as we move on with life.  

I think, though, that the deferred dream is deferred because of fear; of failure, of success, of not measuring up, etc.  Langston Hughes, in his poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") says
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet/
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
To defer something means to suspend or withhold for or until a certain time or event.  Sometimes we consciously defer and sometimes we don't.  We allow other things to take precedence, which in a sense is a conscious choice.  

I mentioned to a coworker that there were things I wanted to do in the past and sometimes in the present but allowed fear to stop me. She said that she never would have thought that about me; that I didn't present myself in that way.  I responded that I became better after reading Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.  I tackled some things that had paralyzed me for years.  Fear is crippling and will cause one to defer their dreams.  I think deferred dreams do all of the above in Langston's poem.  I think mine dried like a raisin in the sun.  

I was happy and sad to remember that dream.  Happy because I could revive it and sad because I forgot it.  Our dreams can become a reality if we let them.  "Nothing beats a failure but a try" is something I've always heard.  Dreams don't always come to fruition on the first try but persistence can make it happen.  We can not allow our negative self talk and the negativity of others to deter us from our dreams.  Wikipedia says that dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.  Maybe we have these images, ideas, emotions and sensations during sleep which stay with us long after we awaken.  We then daydream about them.  Daydreaming: a short term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy,especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imaged as coming to pass, and experienced while awake.  Whew!

I think many inventions are the result of daydreaming.  How do we know whether it's a blurred vision of reality and not reality itself? Do we know whether or not our dreams are 'real"?  The "thing" exists somewhere.  It cries out to be brought into existence in the physical realm.  The poet Rumi said "That the thing we seek is also seeking us."  I love that!  When we let our dreams defer, we must pick them up again so that they can exist; they are after all seeking us. Continue to dream but allow the dream to come forth and live.  Let's "live our dreams and not our fears" as Les Brown said.  Let's start today, NOW, in the present moment.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle









Sunday, December 6, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"Living in the moment without attaching yourself to regrets about yesterday or worries about tomorrow, goes a long way toward cutting through the chaos of everyday life."....Eve Adamson, PhD.,Gary R. Mcclain~

"Never allow waiting to become a habit.  Live your dreams and take risks.  Life is happening now."  ~ Author unknown

"We are always getting ready to live but never living."   ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Life is now.  There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.  ~ Eckhart Tolle

"Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none."  ~ Albert Einstein

"Life is available only in the present moment." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today."  ~ Dale Carnegie

"Be Here Now." ~ Ram Dass

When I read my "about me" and I come to the part about traveling from place to place as led by Spirit, I sometimes wonder why I'm writing this blog since I am not physically traveling.  But then the light bulb comes on and I know, once again, that I am traveling as led by Spirit.  I am traveling the path to higher consciousness, to enlightenment, to my center,  to whatever we wish to name it...the bottom line is - I'm traveling and so are we all whether we know it or not.

My travels this week have taken me to a familiar place that I have been before but have not taken advantage of what this place has to offer.  I feel that I have driven swiftly through it or stopped to linger for a while but didn't stay long enough.  This place is called Living In The Present Moment.  This place has many "cities" to see; the one that I drive through hurriedly is called "risk taking".  I visited two places on the outskirts frequently.  The one that I visited the most is called, "waiting"; another is called "someday".  

What makes us/me so afraid of taking risks and truly living?  Henry David Thoreau said it best: "If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."  Some of us are afraid to dream because we think it will not happen or if it does we may fail.  But life is about living and all that it implies..the highs, the lows and everything in between.  Life is messy sometimes; it's not always neat and clean.  It definitely is not meant to be placed on a shelf and not used.  Use the good china, if only for yourself.  You are special!

The fear of failure and the fear of success has kept me from truly living.  There are things that I feel called to do but I allow fear to take root.  I'm not moving "confidently in the direction of my dreams" and I am not fully trusting Spirit to get me to the place that Spirit is leading me.  Hmm, that's really the same thing isn't it?  If I trusted Spirit, I would move confidently.  A perfect example of this is when I first started this "Gypsi Journey".  I knew that I was supposed to go wherever led but before I went anywhere I allowed fear in its many forms to enter.  I said to Spirit, "I can't see at night, and I don't have much money, I need to kind of know the direction and kind of, sort of, where I'm going.  I said these things as if Spirit didn't already know them.  I didn't trust Spirit to take care of me.

I have decided to drive straight through "waiting" and "someday" and enter Living In The Present Moment with wild enthusiasm.  My first stop in this place is  "risk taking" and I intend to stay for awhile. I am anticipating with excitement and nervousness (same root), to jump off this very high diving board and land in the pool of infinite possibilities and swim with them over to action.  I've felt this before and probably said it also but I am determined to "live the life I've imagined", enjoy the present moment and BE!

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle






Sunday, November 29, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"The wise do not buy into other people's perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of.  Instead, they bypass a person's public persona and see who they are in their highest expression.  When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul's worth."   ~ Shannon L. Alder

"I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am much more than what they see." ~Douglas Pagels

I work in a substance abuse treatment center for women.  Each morning and evening the women recite the philosophy.  At the end of the philosophy it says: If you treat a woman as she is, she will stay as she is.  But if you treat her as if she were what she ought to be and could be, she will become what she ought to be and could be."   These are powerful words which we all need to live by. Each day that I work I am reminded of these words because at work and outside of work, I see people treating people as they are instead of who they can be and in reality who they really are.  We are all expressions of God/Goddess/All That Is, whether we believe it or not.

When we continue to treat people with the illusion of who they present, they continue to act that way.  We don't allow people to step into their highest expressions.  It is up to us to see ourselves and others in the way the Creator see us.  How do we do this?  We begin by realizing that we are one with the source of all life.  I know that some spiritual traditions believe that we are not all children of God if we don't adhere to certain ideologies.  However, we were all created by the same source.  Are my children no longer my children if they don't follow my beliefs?  Of course not!  Regardless of their actions, they are my children and so it is with The Creator of ALL!

As I grow in consciousness, I notice things about people (and myself) that I had not noticed earlier.  When we vibrate at a different energy level, everything changes or rather our "eyes" are opened to the masks that are worn.  People can appear to be very superficial; only concerned with looks, money, titles, etc; surface things.  Quite often those are their concerns.  I have discovered that people are afraid to be who they are. Kurt Cobain says it this way: "I was tired of pretending that I was someone else just to get along with people, just for the sake of having friendships."   People have a need to fit in with others and to be liked.  So, often they hide themselves from themselves and others.

I see clients at work reciting the philosophy yet continue to act "as she is" because she has not seen herself as she can be or ought to be. Part of my job is to help them see themselves differently because I see them differently; because I treat them as they truly are and not as they present.  My oldest son is in recovery and I notice that he is still treated by some as if he is using.  The thing is, he has relapsed several times and may do so again, but I choose to see him as he is divinely created to be.  Do I forget sometimes?  I most certainly do; I forget to see myself that way sometimes.  However I am aware that there is another way of seeing. Over Thanksgiving I noticed some behavior that was very superficial but when I look into the hearts of the people and not listen to their words, I see the essence of who they are.  And who they are is generous and kind. 

We are so much more than we and other people think we are. I realize that seeing people as they can be, or I really prefer saying as they truly are and not the illusion they present, can be daunting for some.  We have all been hurt by trusting or "seeing the good" in people; we have hurt others as well.  There comes a time when we must understand that we are one and we all carry parts of ourselves and others to each person that we meet.  That time is now.  If each person would help someone else know and see his or her worth, and that person in turn does the same thing, we may not be on the brink of a world war.  Sure we have different cultures and beliefs but we are still one race; the human race.  May we allow ourselves to be seen and to see with the eyes of compassion and love?  May we honor the journey that we are each on separately and collectively? May we know a soul's worth and our own?

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be!
Gypsi Mama Michelle











Sunday, November 22, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry Meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"...your life is not a puzzle to be solved but rather a journey to be lived.  You can rise above your mundane concerns and greet the profound with awe and admiration.  You can rest in the benevolence of the great unknown.  There are no mistakes, only lessons; whatever road you choose will eventually lead you home."
~Victor La Cerva, Worldwords


Funny How Time Slips Away...
Willie Nelson

"Well, hello there
My it's been a long, long time
How am I doin'?
Oh, I guess that I'm doin' fine
It's been so long now but it seems now
That it was only yesterday
Gee, ain't it funny how time slips away"

These are the words I heard when I knew I was going to start my blog posts again.  I didn't realize my last post was August.  Life has a way of getting in the way of your life sometimes.  Between working and moving, I've felt too tired to think about writing; but writing is a love of mine and I intend to do what I love.  So let's see, what has been happening?

Well, for starters, I fell again...this time on the treadmill.  I was jogging and I placed my hands at the top to steady myself and the next thing I knew, the speed was on 10.  It didn't occur to me to jump off.  It did occur to me to hit the stop button but I didn't want to lose the time and calorie count, sooo I just tried to lower the speed.  I forgot to mention that I didn't have lights on which meant I couldn't see.  As I'm jogging "faster than a speeding bullet", my hands slipped and I fell to one knee.  Then somehow, I was flat on my stomach with my feet extended past the edge.  I had a horrible bruise on my thigh and I tore the skin from the front of my ankle. It took several weeks for the sore to heal and I have a scar to remind me to: jog in light. not to place my hands at the top, and to not be concerned about losing time.  We can start over; lesson learned.

A few weeks ago I was going to the grocery store traveling down Leigh Street.  I had to pass an elementary school and school was being dismissed.  The school bus had the stop sign out to load the children.  There were two cars in front of me.  At first I had the usual reaction we humans have when a wrench is thrown in our plans but there was nothing I could do but wait.  While waiting the car in front of me backed up and made a left turn.  Before he was fully in the turn, the bus pulled off.  Had he waited he would have been down Leigh Street sooner than his turn around.  That incident caused me to think about life.  I thought about the way people give up right before the breakthrough.  No, we don't know when it's going to happen, but patience and perseverance wins.  We give up before we see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We stop our blessings.

Sometimes on this inward journey I get discouraged.  I'm not sure where I'm being led or I know the end result but I don't know how to get there.  I question myself and the decisions that I make or don't make.  I am on a quest for myself and I have been for some time.  I feel as if I don't know anything.  But according to the quote above, that's okay.  ...there are no mistakes, only lessons.  I will get there.  I just don't want to miss what's in front of me.  Sometimes we aren't aware that there is a lesson.  We are blind.  Lord, help me to see, really see!  

The Southeast Wise Woman Fall Conference was in October.  I attended last year as one of the workers.  I was doing the same thing this year but with an added bonus.  I was asked to do a workshop and was identified on the brochure as one of the teachers. I was excited and nervous at the same time.  My topic was: Embracing Our Natural Beauty.  This is a subject that's dear to me. The conference took place on the same weekend as that terrible storm.  I was nervous about driving in the mountains and I kept going back and forth as to whether or not to attend.  When a state of emergency was declared in NC, I chose not to attend.  I really do wish that I had braved the weather and gone anyway.  It was wet, muddy, damp and cold but those who were there, felt the energy that I experienced last year.  

Speaking at the conference would have jump started, what I believe is my purpose: empowering women.  I feel this was a missed opportunity but there's nothing stopping me from doing a workshop here in Richmond.  "Bloom where you're planted".  As I empower myself, I am able to use what I have learned and experienced to aid others.  Kifu Faruq, whom I met at the conference last year, is the woman who asked me to speak this year.  When I asked her why, she said it was because she heard my passion in May when we were together in NC and she also heard me say how I stop myself from going forward.  Once I committed, she felt I couldn't/wouldn't back out.  If not for the weather, I would not have; at least that's what I tell myself.

As I approach the Winter Solstice and my 65th birthday, my desire is to "be all that I can be".  If not now, when?  I wish to be the expression of God/Goddess/All That Is that I was created to be. Hopefully, this is the year that I will.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle







Sunday, August 9, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, sending lots of love and light!

"As often happens on the spiritual journey, we have arrived at the heart of a paradox: each time a door closes, the rest of the world opens up.  All we need to do is stop pounding on the door that has just closed, turn around - which puts the door behind us - and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to our souls.  The door that closed kept us from entering a room, but what now lies before us is the rest of reality."  ~ Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

"If you're brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello." ~ Paula Coehlo

"When God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending.  Be thankful for closed doors, they often guide us to the right one!" ~ A Woman of Faith

"When one door closes, another opens but we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Well no surprise here, as one can see, I'm pondering endings and beginnings.  Life is a series of them....but as the quotes above state..we miss the openings sometimes.  I'm transitioning into something else; someone else, or maybe not someone else but the "me" I've always been but am now beginning to manifest.  Outer changes are happening because of inner changes.  It is definitely a paradox because sometimes I don't recognize me yet I know this me.  For sixteen years I've had a nose piercing.  I always wore a stud.  Three weeks ago, I had a second nose piercing done beside the first one.  I took out the original stud and put in a nose hoop.  It felt right, absolutely right.  It felt and looked like a "me" I had forgotten.  The winds of change are blowing and calling my name.

Last Sunday morning after writing the blog, I went to the bathroom to shower.  I was meeting a friend for brunch.  As I reached for my sponge, I slipped.  I shower everyday so what caused me to slip?  I fell down and then hit my head on the tile, pulling the shower curtain down along with me.  I didn't black out because I remember asking myself if I were going to black out.  LOL  Anyway, my head hurt and although there was no knot, there was a red patch in the back of my head.  I was very shaken up by the entire incident.  I read the symptoms of a concussion and didn't feel as if I had one. On Tuesday, I felt woozy and went to the ER.  The doctor checked my ears and discovered that I had fluid buildup behind my left ear. I mentioned to the doctor that I thought it was sinus and a fluid buildup; it usually happens to me once a year.  I was given a CT scan and it was negative.  Thank God/Goddess/All That Is!  I believe the "craziness" that I felt that early Sunday Morning a few weeks ago, was because of the fluid...still I'm not drinking though.

After being off for nine days, I went back to work on Thursday for eight hours, Friday and Saturday for twelve hours and today for eight.  It was rough.  It's good to be off for awhile but hard to get back into the groove sometimes.  I was supposed to have the same type of schedule this week but am working for a woman on Friday, then was asked by the director to work on the 17th.  I have my daughter Tiffany's sewing machine and have decided to start sewing again.  The Yoruba reading I had, said that I needed to engage my creativity which would eliminate the depression/oppression I had been feeling.  I am also entering into a partnership with Mishi McCoy of Mishi's Gathering of the Wild and Mystical.  I'm very excited to work with her and Beverly Loving.  It's a time of newness; a time of endings and beginnings.  

I like my job and the flexibility of the hours.  I don't know if things will change when the new company takes over but for now it's fine. However the winds of change are calling this gypsi mama.  I don't know why I am always so restless!  I had to have been a gypsy in a previous life, I had to have been!  I am always wanting change of some kind; always wanting to see another place, be exposed to other cultures.  I'm not sure what's going to happen in my life, who does know?, but I do know that change is coming, things are ending and things are beginning.  I will not stand and look at the closed door, I will turn around and "welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to my soul".

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

    


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"When a path opens before us that leads we know not where, don't be afraid to follow it.  Our lives are meant to be mysterious journeys, unfolding one step at a time. ...Don't be afraid to lose your way.  Out of chaos, clarity will eventually arise.  Out of not knowing, something new and unknown will ultimately come.  Do not order things too swiftly.  Wait and the miracle will appear. ~ Anne Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery

"You are the laboratory and every day is an experiment.  Go and find what is new and unexpected." ~ Joel Elkes

I apologize for my absence the past two weeks.  Two Sundays ago, I wasn't feeling well.  I awakened around 1:00am feeling weird.  I was in no pain but I felt "not right".  My son and his friend were visiting.  I knew they were going to church later so I didn't want to disturb him but he heard me.  He asked what was wrong.  I told him that I didn't know; I just felt "off" or crazy. (crazier than usual, I might add).  We talked for awhile (I believe he was praying), I took an aspirin and went back to bed.  My nose started running and at that point I believed it was sinuses.  I immediately felt better, having an idea at least of what it could be, and told Jason. The rest of the early morning passed without incident.  I took two sinus pills (I hate medicine) and felt somewhat better.

Jason's father and I were going to go to DC since Jason was stopping there overnight before heading back to New York.  Traffic was horrendous and so we turned around.  I was glad because I still didn't feel too well and I was having a reading later.  Rev.  DeShannon Bowens is a Yoruba Priestess and an Interfaith/Interspiritual minister from OSIS.  I had two previous readings: one in 2012 or 2013 and another in 2014.  DeShannon never asks what the issues are, she just does her thing.  She has always been on point with me.  Many parts of the readings have been confirmations and in some other parts new information comes to light.  I am grateful that Spirit had me meet her through seminary.

Last Sunday I opened the computer to type the blog and my apps wouldn't pop up!  The computer wouldn't shut down and I didn't know what was happening.  I tried to type on my phone, I did that Mother's Day, but this time it wouldn't give me the font I wanted. When I got the geek squad on the phone, the solution was simple; I hadn't shut the laptop completely off the last time I used it.  All I had to do was hold the power button for a few seconds, leave it off a few seconds more and then reboot.  By that time though I had to go to work.  My intent was to post later that night or early Monday but that didn't happen.  I have learned to go with the flow...if it doesn't happen at the time then maybe it's not meant to happen at that moment.  Last Sunday was the start of a new pay period and my last day working until August 6th.  It's just the way the schedule was written.  Usually someone calls out and I'm given a call but not this past week...so I took that as a sign that I needed to work on me. 

I started exercising again this past week; walking, jogging, squats and crunches.  Consistency is the key and as my daughter, Zakiya says, the body remembers.  It wasn't as hard as I thought.  I'm back to the way that I ate in bootcamp while in LA.  I haven't been drinking because the night I felt "crazy", I had a glass of Prosecco before retiring and I don't know if that caused the weirdness along with sinus or if it was just the sinus but either way, it scared me. I'm headed to a wine festival on the 15th but I will just enjoy the band. I have also been meditating and contemplating more.  A spiritual practice keeps me grounded and trust me, I need to be grounded. The insights and revelations gained from this practice are astounding.  I am also practicing not becoming annoyed by anything or anyone; that can be hard but it's not the persons or situations, it's my consciousness.  

My last post was about the restlessness and the one before about the sadness I've been feeling.  Based on the reading I had and the above quotes, I am allowing the "mysteries" to take place as they will.  I don't know what's around the corner but I'm not in fear of whatever it is.  I had been feeling that I had lost my way and that I didn't know who I was, what I was supposed to be doing or where i was headed.  My friend Celeste felt the sadness was due to depression but I didn't feel depressed, then DeShannon touched on depression as well.  "Out of the mouths of two or three witnesses...."  Maybe that's the trick of depression, for one not to know...at any rate, "out of chaos, clarity will eventually arise",  as stated above.  Life is a mystery and it is gloriously unfolding one step at a time.  We, ourselves, are mysteries.  We each unfold, second by second, minute by minute and so forth.  We discover new things about ourselves and other things we've forgotten.  We let some things and people go and embrace others.  "Don't be afraid to lose your way......Wait and the miracle will appear."  We are the miracles!

Until next Sunday, (hopefully)
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"The song of your soul is longing to be sung.  Let your own essence express itself freely." ~ Brandon Bays

"There is an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for." ~ Saul Bellow

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." ~ Dr. Maya Angelou

It's that time for me again...that longing time, that restless time, that tiger in the cage time.  I don't think it ever really leaves me.  I think it just plays hide and seek; then it sneaks up on me and yells, "Tag, you're it!"  The yearning to be, to do, to travel, to explore, to live, is calling.  I do believe that it is "the song of my soul longing to be sung".  What is that song that wants to express itself?  I hear it in the same way that the sailors of old heard the siren's song.  It's distant but I keep trying to get closer.  I don't think it's leading me to destruction as told in the myth, however.  

I've been sad this week.  I know it's due in part to my friend James' funeral on Tuesday.  Many classmates have made their transition but he was a close friend.  Death has a way of causing one to think about life and living.  It happens unexpectedly even though we all know it will happen at some point.  When it hits close to home, it causes a reevaluation of, well everything.  Saul Bellow expresses it well in the above quote: "...more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are, and what this life is for."   As I've written in several of my poems, I don't want to only exist; I want to LIVE.  Nothing makes that point more emphatically than death.  

I've also been sad because of the longing.  I seem to be fine but then an un-explainable sadness wells up in me.  I get teary eyed and sometimes cry.  I have even shouted out to Spirit, "WHAT?"  I must have been a gypsy in a former life because I can't explain why I am always so restless.  Things seem to be fine then BAM, longing!  The desire to explore, have new adventures and meet new people excites me immensely.  Living among different cultures and learning from the people broadens our horizons and increases our understanding.  I believe it makes us more loving, compassionate and kind.  

There are these tiny houses being sold now.  People who don't need an enormous amount of space are buying and/or building them. They have wheels in order to travel.  I don't believe they are expensive.  I certainly would like to have one to live in and travel. That would be a way for my outward gypsy journey to continue. Dr. Angelou says that we all want "..to be at home wherever I find myself."  I think that is true; we would like to feel at home, at any rate.  The saying goes: Home is where the heart is.  I suppose if we feel at home wherever we are, then our heart is there, at least for that time.  Did Gypsies feel at home wherever they roamed?  They did make camp wherever, so perhaps they did.  They stayed until they were run off, grew tired of the place or heard a distant call.

For me, it is more about hearing a distant call.  Something beckons me to follow the sound.  I don't think I have really answered that call fully.  That's the idea of the journey; to listen to the sound of the wind and follow wherever it leads.  One of my favorite movies is Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She plays a young mother with a 6 year old daughter.  Johnny Depp is a gypsy. In a way she is one also, except she only travels with her daughter. There is a particular wind that she hears and it tells her when to leave and which direction to follow.  I cried when I watched that movie because it spoke to the longing of my soul.  

Until I follow the call, this longing will continue to return and return, because it doesn't ever leave really.  I may go out of town for awhile and that seems to satisfy but it doesn't.  My gypsy spirit needs to be free.  I do know that freedom is a state of mind, in the same way that we can carry home with us.  However, my heart, soul and spirit cries out for an outward expression of the workings of the mind.  George Eliot says it like this: "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive.  There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them."   I feel that I am starving!

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory that no one can steal."....author unknown

"In every shadow there is light, in every tear, a smile.  In death I know there still is life that lingers for awhile."...author unknown 

On Monday the 29th, I visited my youngest daughter Tiffany in DC.  She moved into a new apartment which I hadn't seen since moving day.  I love the building and all of the amenities.  She still lives in NW, just a different section.  We walked around the corner to Busboys and Poets for a late lunch.  Tiffany knew that I would love the food because it's natural, organic and some of it is gluten free.  The food is delicious!  I spent the remainder of my time in DC catching up with my daughter and her fiance.  I plan to go back to Busboys and Poets with some of the "Golden Crew".  As Tiffany and I prepared to leave for lunch, I noticed a missed call and a text from Venetia, one of the crew.

The last time that I was with the "crew" was in Charlottesville, VA for a day trip.  There were five women and two men.  One of the men was my very good friend, James.  We had a day filled with fun, food, drinks, laughter and freedom.  When I called Venetia, I instantly knew something was wrong by the sound of her voice.  I asked what was wrong and she told me that James was in the hospital with cancer.  She was extremely distraught and I couldn't get a clear understanding of what had happened.  She had just found out herself and called me.

Later that night, upon my return to Richmond, I called Wanda, another member of the crew and a very good friend of James.  I was told that James had lung cancer which had spread to the liver and there were two lesions on the brain. He had known about the lungs and liver before Father's Day.  He found out about the brain on Friday and was admitted at that time.  On Tuesday, Linda (another crew member) and I went to see him in the hospital.  I spoke with his sister, Alma, in depth.  James called me "First Lady" and I called him "Mr. President".  It was a private joke.  He and I signed every birthday card that way.  I went over to his bed and told him that the first lady was here.  He was in a semi deep sleep but he heard me and opened his eyes. 

Linda, his sister Alma and I spoke for awhile.  The doctor came in and told Alma and James that they were moving him to Hospice for his comfort.  He reached for her hand and shook it; always a gentleman.  She asked James if this decision agreed with him and he said yes.  When Linda and I were ready to leave, we went over to tell him goodbye.  Linda grabbed his hand and told him that the hug was from her and Susie, his high school sweetheart.  I took his hand and said, "Bear, this is Mickie...I love you."  James grabbed my hand, and was lifting it.  Linda said he's trying to kiss you.  He brought my  hand to his lips and kissed it.  I almost became unglued.  As Linda and I walked to the car, we prayed for him.  We were both very emotional.  

I spoke to his sister on Wednesday and there was no change.  On Thursday I called the hospital and the nurse said that I needed to check with the family.  My heart sunk.  I called his sister Alma. She told me that he had made his transition a little before 12 am.  I informed the crew.  I was sad that day but it really hit home for me on Friday.  James and I dated awhile in high school and for awhile in 2009.  He was a very good friend.  He was always the dance partner for us gals at most events.  Man, could he swing!  He once shared with me that Venetia, Belinda, Betty, Alma and myself all had different tempos when we danced and he had to adjust accordingly.  When he and I dated, on slow songs I would put my arms around his waist.  After we no longer dated but still danced together, he wouldn't say a word but he would open his jacket.  I would say, "You want me to put my arms around your waist, huh?" He would smile and say yes.  

James was a part of my childhood and my adult life.  It's hard to imagine any event without him.  He told Clyde, another crew member, that sometimes he wouldn't feel well but he knew if he didn't attend an event, we would have no dance partner.  That was James.  We started celebrating birthdays as a crew in 2009.  In comparing another party later, James said the difference was that the other person was celebrating a birthday while I had been celebrating life.  In 201, he called to see what I was doing for my birthday.  I told him that I didn't want to do anything that year. James said, "Mickie, the party isn't for you, it's for your friends!" So I had to accept that (in my Richard Pryor voice)  LOL.   All of my children met him at my 2013 birthday party.  My oldest said that from that one meeting, she could tell that he was a life loving person.  He had that kind of presence.

Alma told Linda and I that the doctor said that as James transitioned he would sleep more and more until finally he would enter his last sleep.  This quote comes to mind as I reflect on that hospital visit: "And life goes on, which seems kind of strange, and cruel when you're watching someone die." ...author unknown.  Life does go on; we still work, play, eat, pay bills, dance, etc.  We still LIVE but the person has made a transition to another type of life.  I don't believe we die but that we just change suits.  I feel James' presence.  I hope to feel it for some time if nowhere else but in memories.  Please cherish people while they are here, we don't know the day or the hour.  RIP, my friend, I love and miss your physical presence.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle


Monday, June 29, 2015

Richmond,VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"If I had to live my life over again, I would ask that not a thing be changed, but that my eyes be opened wider."....Jules Renard

"We truly need little to feel abundant.  When we pay attention, a single breath can fill us to overflowing.  The touch of a loved one or a moment of sunlight can bring delight to our hearts.  The simple gesture of someone's hand resting on our own, a single word of kindness, or a small gift of appreciation can be all we need to feel a tremendous sense of care and well-being.  We need so little to feel loved; all we need to do is begin to notice the multitude of tiny gifts and small miracles that punctuates each day we are alive." ....Wayne Muller, Legacy of the Heart

It's been awhile friends.  So much has been happening, not only with me but with everyone.  When I last posted, it was about my trip to New York for my youngest son Jason's 30th birthday. Before the NY trip, I had been in a Direct Care class for the job.  It was a prerequisite for the Medication Tech class.  I had a medication class in 2012 which was a 32 hour course but hadn't used it since then.  This job requires a 68 hour course in order to be licensed by the state.  The medication class started the day after Memorial Day. The class was every Monday and Wednesday from 8:30am-4:30pm for 6 weeks.  We had a homework assignment after each class and a test each morning.  I never worried about the tests, I always passed.  The last week before the final test we had to do clinicals at an Assisted Living Facility.  We passed medication and gave insulin shots.  The final was on June 22nd and I passed with more than the 80%.  Whew!  Now I have to take the state board test.

The first weekend in June was my friend Octavia Callahan's birthday.  Octavia's sister Laurie planned a very special birthday for her in Greensboro, NC.  On Friday we went to the downtown art walk similar to the one here in Richmond.  Most places had Hors d'Oeuvres and wine/beer.  We found an antique shop which had beautiful dresses. Octavia purchased two.  They also had very odd sunglasses and I purchased two pair.  Laurie purchased a pair as well.  On Saturday, there was a wine tasting event at four wineries. We arrived at each one via a party bus.  The bus had music and a pole in the back. Some of us took turns swinging on the pole.  Yes, I was one.  It was a lot of fun.  After having lunch at the last winery, we went back to Laurie's house to shower and change for a comedy show.  The show featured George Lopez, Charlie Murphy, Eddie Griffith, DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps. It was hilarious! We returned to Virginia on Sunday.

Before going to NC, I discovered what felt like a lump in my right breast.  This is the same breast that had the lumpectomy. Because of the cancer history, I am scheduled to have mammograms every 6 months.  In December I have both breasts done and in June I have only the right one.  Because I had just had one in December and it was fine, I felt that if this was indeed a lump, it would be aggressive.  I was a little anxious to say the least.  On June 19th at 1pm, I had the mammogram and because of what I previously felt, an ultrasound was ordered.  At first the tech didn't see anything but then she thought she did.  She wanted the doctor to come in to see. It was 3:15pm  My sister was with me and needed to be downtown before 4pm.  I put on my clothes and told the front desk that I needed to leave.  The tech called and asked me to come in on the following Tuesday.  When I went in, the doctor checked me with another ultrasound and said that there was nothing.  All praises to God/Goddess/All That Is!  I do have very dense tissue and will still need to be monitored until 2018.  I am very grateful to all who prayed with and for me.  

There are some changes happening on the job and we believe it's for the better.  There is definitely a pay increase with the merger and that's always good, right?  I do hope that I can continue to work as I choose, with as little or as many hours as I wish.  Some people will be made full time.  I'm not sure if that's what I want or not. Benefits would be involved and I need them but then I would lose the ability to work as I wish.  I suppose I have to weigh all options. This job is not demanding at all.  I seriously don't mind going to work and that's a great thing.  I hope I continue to feel this way.  I don't have any hours this week because sometimes the hours we can work are not available.  So I signed up to work on last night (Sunday) and I never work on Sundays.  In fact, one of the clients said to me, "What are you doing here?  You never work on Sundays."  They know our schedule better than we do  LOL

Since I'm off this week, I may try to go to NY.  I have several Haitian Facebook friends whom I have not met.  One, Thamara, has invited me to come have a picnic meal with her in Brooklyn.  She and several of my Haitian sister-friends love to cook and their pictures are art.  I've already experienced Gina's cooking.  The black rice with shrimp...OMG!  When I told Jason that I might come to NY for a few days this week, he asked why. Why?, because I want to come.  I don't need to stay with him if he has plans  When our children become adults, they most certainly have their own lives, don't they?  I am glad that they do because I have mine as well.  I read somewhere that we are always preparing to become the persons we wish to be.  Sometimes, as we begin to change certain things about ourselves and don't know why, I believe that (the preparation) is the reason.  I see myself as this Gypsy Bohemian woman so as my tastes change, I see myself becoming this person. Basically I've been this person always because we become who we are.  I can't wait to grow my own food and have a couple of chickens for eggs; maybe even a goat to eat the grass.  LOL   I see myself with a long grey/silver plait down my back.  My oldest daughter asked me the other day, if I ever considered locs because she had a vision of me with it.  Only for the last 10 years was my answer.  Who knows?

I am relearning to appreciate even what we consider the small things in life.  Nothing is small; every gesture, every act means something.  I am who I am because of all I've been through.  It has made me, "me".   Yes, I still have more to learn, even about myself, but I like who I am and who I am becoming.  I wish the same for us all.  Love and acceptance is the answer for what ails the world.  

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama MIchelle




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New York, NY

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

" No family is perfect...we argue, we fight.  We even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family is family...the love will always be there."...unknown

My youngest son, Jason, turned 30 on May 21st of this year.  He is not a big birthday celebration person.  He doesn't like the attention focused on him.  Regardless, he is my youngest, and although any age is a blessing, I always feel that the "0" and "5" years could be celebrated even if one celebrates no other.  So I decided I wanted to go to NY to celebrate with him.  His father was on vacation and decided to go as well.  My youngest daughter, Tiffany who lives in DC decided to join us also.  Tiffany came in on Saturday morning and left on Sunday morning.  Jason's father and I left on Thursday night on the Chinese bus.  The bus was due into NY at 6:30am on Friday morning.  The bus was late leaving Richmond and we arrived  at 8:30am in China town.  Jason was going to pick us up but had to go into work.  I knew how to take the train and told him that's what we would do as opposed to paying an astronomical taxi fee.  Jason's father is from NY but hasn't lived there in years.  He was like a fish out of water.  He is more a southerner than I.

We got to Jason's apartment and I showered and changed in order to go to 116th and Lenox Ave to the African/Harlem Market.  I never made it because Jason came in at 1pm and we decided to go out to eat.  He had been to Pier A with co workers for a send off of his former manager.  It's in Battery Park and on the water.  He wanted us to enjoy the experience and to have the oyster sliders, which I had but not his father.  He had salmon and creamed spinach.  (I know you wanted to know, Net)  It was overcast and started to drizzle so we ate inside.  It never rained and I wish we had stayed out.  Afterwards we rode around, and Jason drove me to the African Market.  Jason said to me: "Mom, you always come with an agenda; you either visit friends, meet them for dinner or want to go to a store."  I told him I had planned those things knowing he would be at work and that I would spend Saturday with him.  We headed back to his apartment and we all went to bed.  We were extremely tired.  Riding a bus at night is, in my opinion, the same as working an overnight shift. One is tired and sleepy but can't really rest.

On Saturday I prepared breakfast for Jason and his father but I didn't eat.  A couple of hours later, we left to pick up Tiffany from Greyhound.  She had not eaten either.  It seems that everything is a big production in this family.  Tiffany didn't care if she had breakfast, brunch, or lunch. It was 11:45 am.  No one seemed to be making a decision.  Finally, I said what about a diner.  Everyone agreed and I told them about Metro Diner on West 101st Street.  I had eaten there while in my first year of Seminary.  With that settled we drove there and had a meal.  Everyone ate and their father treated everyone.  Tiffany and I wanted to get a mani-pedi ($20 in NY for both) but noooo, we were there for Jason, we were politely told, and so we went back to the apartment.  We were trying to decide what to do before dinner reservations at 6:30. Suggestions were flying and no one could agree.  Tiffany wanted Coney Island, I wanted to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, their father wanted Times Square (like a tourist), Jason wanted anything.  We should have gone to see the Yankees but the game had started. Jason's friend was joining us for dinner but he wanted the meeting to take place before dinner. I guess we re a bit much to take initially.  LOL  

We ended up going to Times Square (like tourists).  We met Jason's friend there.  She is very nice and pretty. After walking around and taking in the sights (like tourists) we decided to head downtown for dinner.  Their father was against the restaurant because he didn't want Jason to spend the money.  It kind of soured it for Jason but we did go anyway.  Jason is in love with Korean BBQ and had been telling his sister about it.  I don't eat red meat or pork so it didn't matter to me.  The food is cooked on a hibachi at the table.  I had very large shrimp.  Jason wanted us to have the experience. That was how he wanted to celebrate and his dad didn't seem to get that. They all seemed to enjoy the different cuts of beef and the side dishes.  I certainly enjoyed the shrimp and the eggplant was delicious!  We then walked to the train and headed back to the apartment, with Jason's friend going back to her place.  It was a long day and again we were tired.  Tiffany was leaving at 9:15 am. I told her that I would take her to Greyhound and then meet Jason and their father at Jason's church.  I feel as if NYis my home.  I get around easily.  

I took Tiffany by train to the bus station and then took the train back uptown to 125th Street.  Jason's church is on 127 and Lenox Ave.  I thought to myself, I can go and visit the stores on 125th Street.  Alas!, they weren't opened.  I walked on over to the church actually getting there before Jason and his dad.  Jason is always asked to pray and he does a fantastic job.  It's nice when the people in the congregation tell us how much he is loved.  After church we went back to the apartment to change and then went to Manna Soul Food Buffet on Lenox.  Our bus was due to leave at 5pm. Jason's car had been giving him trouble and so his father wanted to bring it back to Richmond to get it repaired.  In the meantime, I finally was able to get in touch with my granddaughter!  I saw her, and I saw my great granddaughter for the first time.  I held out my arms to her and she came to me (she's 2). I asked her: "Do you know who I am?"  She said, "Yes" and I asked , "Who?"  She said, "Grandma" I told my granddaughter that she must have told her that and she said she had.  She didn't stay in my arms though.  She took to Jason and cried when it was time for her to leave. She looks like her mother did at that age.  I am so happy to have seen them.

We left NY at 5:30am Monday.  The car started hesitating and we thought at one point we would have to call a tow truck.  I heard in my spirit the word "gas" but I didn't say anything.  When Jason's dad put mid grade gas and then high octane in the car, the problem virtually disappeared.  This is why I love Spirit.  We are always led in the right direction if we pay attention.  Jason is coming here on Friday to pick up his car.   I plan to take a day trip to NY in a couple of weeks since the Chinese bus is $50 roundtrip.  I love my family.  We don't always agree and sometimes we really don't speak to each other but family is family.  No one says you have to like them but we do love them and would fight for them if necessary.  

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Washington DC

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"The life you have left is a gift.  Cherish it.  Enjoy it now, to the fullest.  Do what matters, now." ....Kushandwizdom

"To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people just exist."...Oscar Wilde

My Mother's Day started with a trip to DC on the Greyhound Bus. I was headed there to share it with my daughter Tiffany, her fiance Mark, and his mother Priscilla.  The bus was packed.  Someone on the bus had a wheelchair which meant that 4 of the seats were not expanded out into seats.  This bus trip was uneventful; nothing crazy happened as in previous trips.  The bus left 30 minutes later than scheduled but Greyhound always makes up for it.  There was not much traffic so I settled into my seat and enjoyed the ride.  We arrived only 5 minutes later than the estimated arrival time. I stopped for a pretzel as I walked through Union Station to get to the Metro.  I was meeting Tiffany in order to join her at church. 

On one side of the station, the machines to purchase Metro cards were not working.  I went over to the other side and as I was trying to make a purchase, a man behind me spilled his coffee.  Some of it splashed onto my foot.  The attendant was furious because he now had to mop up the spill.  People certainly don't mind letting the public (which they serve) know how they feel.  Customer Service as a whole is sadly lacking these days.  I wiped my foot and continued to make the purchase, which I couldn't.  I moved to the next machine and was finally able to purchase a one ride Metro card.  In DC, different places have different fares.  One must look up the destination and purchase the amount required for that particular trip; unless one is purchasing a specific dollar amount for the ticket.  I had to make the purchase with my card because that machine wasn't taking cash.  This meant, because of my frustration, that I put in a dollar more than necessary for the fare.  I had the exact amount of cash out but in using the card didn't think clearly. Another reminder from the Universe to take a breath.

Tiffany had texted me detailed instructions as to which Metro to catch.  As I sat down to wait for the train, a man walked toward me and glanced in my direction.  He walked past me and then came back toward me.  He leaned down and said, "You're a very pretty girl."  I said, "Thank you, woman not girl, but thank you,"  He didn't hear me because he walked off after the first thank you.  I know at my age to be called "girl" may seem like a compliment but I was slightly offended.  Truth be told, compliments from men don't happen as often to "women of a certain age".  Yes, they happen but not as often from men.  So why was I offended?  The gentleman in question was an elderly Caucasian man; very nice looking I might add.  It was the girl, that offended me.  I felt, perhaps because of his age or my sensitivity; I'm not sure which, that this compliment was a throwback to the way the elderly Caucasian population sees African-Americans.  We've always been girls and boys, not men and women.  Normally I'm not that sensitive to such things.  I don't know what caused this reaction.  I told Tiffany my reaction and she understood.

After taking the two trains, I met Tiffany and we walked to Unity of Washington, DC.  I introduced Tiffany to Unity of Richmond some years ago and then to Unity of DC, one Mother's Day.  I like the church, the songs and Rev. Sylvia.  She spoke of unconditional love and how we humans still place "conditions" on our love.  I like to hear metaphysical talks and so I enjoyed it.  On the way out of the sanctuary I saw a woman from high school in Richmond.  We weren't friends but I recognized her from pictures because we have mutual friends.  We spoke for awhile, and I know that the meeting was Spirit ordained.  Unity had a grand reception downstairs and had we not been going to brunch, we would have partaken of those delicacies.  Tiffany and I went outside to wait for her fiance and his mother.  She lives an hour away so Mark picked her up in order for us to make the brunch reservations.

We had brunch reservations at Georgia Brown's.  While we waited, Tiffany, Priscilla and myself had bottomless Mimosas.  Mark had water.  We then sat down to a delicious brunch buffet.  The buffet price also included an entree to go.  Fantastic!  When brunch was over, Tiffany and Mark took Priscilla and me to our next surprise. We had reservations for facials and massages!  At first, I was skeptical about the facial because I only use natural products on my face.  The spa had organic products. Hurrah!  I'm so glad that I acquiesced and had the facial.  It was wonderful!  Even someone my age can learn something.  I never knew, for instance, that one should wash hands before washing one's face.  My girls knew but I didn't.  I guess I thought my hands were clean due to my cleansing product.  The esthetician (those who work in spas as opposed to aestheticians, those who work in medical settings) said my skin was healthy and that my neck was better than some twenty somethings. Of course that was good to hear!  Afterwards I rode with the group to take Priscilla home.  I liked her very much, which is a good thing since our children are marrying each other.  Mark called me Mom for the first time.  It was cute.

Mark and Tiffany then took me to Greyhound with a few minutes to spare!  The area with the buses was barricaded and so Tiffany and I had to walk through the station.  The ticket was purchased but had to be printed out.  Tiffany zoomed through Union station reminding me of the road runner and my mother!  I was trying to keep up but finally said to myself: "If I miss it, I miss it."  I lost sight of Tiffany and didn't know exactly where I was going. LAWD, Net and Debbie, in the words of Mac Brown: Aint I in it? LOL   I somehow managed to accidentally end up where I need to be. Tiffany called me to see where I was, and I said I don't know, (before I knew that it was the right place).  She saw me and started waving.  She had printed the ticket and was waiting by the bus. She handed me my bag, kissed me and was hesitant to leave because the driver wasn't there.  I told her to go on, I'd be fine,  Funny, how the children become the parents.  Tiffany didn't want me to take the train to meet her for church, when Mark couldn't pick me up because he had gone to get his mother.  I told her if I can take the train in NY alone, I can certainly do so in DC and I had before.  

The driver took about 15 -20 minutes before he boarded. Apparently he had not had a good day.  He was rude and never took my ticket!  He started giving all of the rules and then he heard music.  He stated that whomever was playing that music needed to turn it down because he nor passengers wanted to hear it.  When the request was ignored, he started walking toward the back.  He stopped at my seat and said to turn it off.  I replied that I wasn't playing music and he said well that game or whatever that is.  I said that I'm not doing anything. My phone was in the seat next to me and was lit.  I suppose when the music stopped, he realized it wasn't me because I never touched my phone.  The rest of the trip proceeded without incident until someone started the music again. He shouted at the culprit to turn it off.  The man obviously couldn't hear well because one could tell the music was from the back not the front where I sat.  We arrived exactly on time.  As I exited the bus, I handed the driver my ticket and explained that he never collected it.  He looked at it to see what was my destination and then thanked me by name.  Sure, now you're nice!

The week before Mother's Day on a Saturday while at work, I found out that Kay Jeweler's had diamond earrings and a diamond pendant on sale for friends and family appreciation day.  I called Jason and told him that I wanted those items for Mother's Day.  He asked his father to pick them up after saying, "Sure!"  During the week of Mother's Day I purchased two sterling silver rings.  When Donnie, my oldest, said that he would take me to dinner later in the week after my return from DC, I said, "You can actually pay for the rings I like".  He said, "Sure".  He gave me beautiful cards and still wants to take me to dinner.  Kiya gave me beautiful expressions of gratitude in her own words.  Tiffany said that I had gall to ask Jason and Donnie for what I wanted.  I don't think so.  I, personally, would rather give what the person wanted than to just give a gift. My children don't have to give me anything.  I have cooked dinner for many Mother's Day because they are the reason that I am a mother.  I love them fiercely!  I am happy that they love me because they don't have to at all.  I hope that all who nurtured had a great day as well.  

Later this week I will be in NY for my youngest son, Jason's birthday.  Tell you all about it next week.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Richmond,VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of light and love!

"Not always eye to eye, but always heart to heart!" .....Hallmark

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!
If you have ever mothered anyone, then you know this is a true statement. We, mothers and those we nurture, don't always agree, but the love is absolute and unquestionable.  I have four children (4), count them.  LAWD!! (lol) My grandmother asked me many years ago, if anyone had told me when I was a teenager that one day I would have 4 children, what would I have done?  I told her I probably would have slapped them.  I always wanted to be a career woman and an auntie whose visits would be anticipated with great joy. I have more children than my sister who always wanted to be a wife and mother!  

Having my children has given me a joy that I don't believe I would have had otherwise. Even with the ups and downs on both parts, I wouldn't change this journey if I could.  I have learned so much from them although they have all at some point called to thank me for different things I've taught them or shown by example.  Once, my youngest daughter Tiffany who was in her first year at Howard, called to tell me how much she appreciated me cooking every night.  When I asked what brought that on, she replied that some of the young women were talking about their teenage years at home.  She said some of their mothers stopped cooking when they turned 16. Tiffany mentioned that I cooked every night and they were amazed.  She felt such gratitude that she wanted me to know how she felt.  Donnie, Zakiya and Jason have all called to simply say, "Thank you".  Zakiya refers to me as her spiritual mentor, Jason feels that I was the best mom for his personality and Donnie always feels as if we grew up together. He loves Tupac's song about his mom. 

My eyes tear as I think of these things. It's so nice to be appreciated by your children because sometimes, some of us wonder if anything we did meant anything.  As if this writing I'm on my way to DC to spend Mothet's Day with Tiffany, her fiancĂ© and his mother. I don't know what's been planned. When I asked her, she said, "Mom, can you just be in a moment?"  Typical Tiffany.   I only know that she and I are going to her church, Unity of Washington, together.  I will reveal all in next week's post.   For now I'm going to sit back and enjoy this ride on, wait for it, Greyhound.  Those who read my blog know of the adventures I've had on Greyhound. LOL. Stay tuned.  Happy Mother's Day once again.  Live, laugh, love and appreciate those who have mothered you and those you mother.  Most of all appreciate yourselves for having endured, learned and keeping your sanity ( for those that did), even when you didn't see eye to eye but always felt heart to heart!

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!


"What does it mean to have a gift?  For the lamp, the light it was shaped to carry is its gift.  Without a light, a lamp has no purpose. For a person, we are shaped by experience to reveal the light we carry.  For a person, how that light comes through us is our gift. Our call in the midst of our days is...to discover the light that fills the lamp of the life we are given. Once discovered, our work is to never let the light of our gift go out."  ~ Mark Nepo, The Endless Practice

I wasn't going to write a post today because I was not sure what inward journey was taking place in me.  Something is calling me to go deeper; to experience life more fully than I've been doing.  I'm not sure exactly how I want or need to pursue that.  I'n not sure if I've "discovered the light that fills the lamp of the life I am given." Even though in the last six months, I have created a FB page: Wild Women Gypsies and started Michelle's W.E.B. (Women's Empowerment Brunch) Affirmation Circle, I feel as if there is something else calling me.  The full moon is in Scorpio now and that in itself would explain a few things, if not all things.  
             Scorpio pulls us in to the mysterious depths, with its            
             treacherous and profound shadows.  The dark has 
             power, and that makes it daunting, but also a promising
             landscape---for deep change and renewal.
             
             The Scorpio Moon peaks at 13 degrees, and is in an 
             enthralling trine to Neptune (in Pisces).  This can be a
             time of spellbinding experiences, so be wise about the 
             atmospheres you move through.

             The sun (Taurus) is shining in opposition, vitalizing
             what has promise, and in sync with the laws of natural
             unfolding.  Jupiter comes in at an angle, the proud sign
             of Leo, bringing more fixed energies.  Watch out for
             drama, especially if it's carrying the energy of being a 
             done deal (fixed).

             The spirit of big dramatic endings and beginnings is
             afoot.  And a peak for cracking open hidden potentials,
             gifts ~ the power to create and be renewed again and
             again.  Neptune's presence inspires going beyond the
             known, and being open to miracles ~ changes of heart,
             mind and spirit.
             
             The moon is full on Sunday, May 3rd at 11:42 pm (est)
             
             This can be a significant period where we get "real" and 
             in doing so, begin to build on truly solid psychic-emotional
             ground. If a bubble bursts, and the picture looks dark, 
             stay with it ~ the word "withstand" comes to mind.  
             (astrology about.com)

Wow!  I knew the full moon was going into Scorpio but I didn't fully realize that this is probably the reason I'm feeling like I do until I wrote the above; even more because my rising is in Scorpio. Ok, when I know the reason for something, then I can deal with it. One doesn't have to have anything in Scorpio to feel the effects of this full moon.  Scorpio is a very powerful, mysterious sign and we do feel it.  I hope this helps someone.

This week I have celebrated two birthdays; one with an impromptu visit with my friend Ramona, to our friend Caroline's home. Ramona and I had lunch,window shopped and then went to Caroline's.  We chatted, had drinks, ate again and enjoyed the friendship.  Friday, May 1, (Beltane or May Day) was my cousin Debbie's 60th birthday.  (can't believe it).  She decided to have a birthday fight party on Saturday.  I'm not much into boxing but I wanted to celebrate her birthday.  I am so glad we did.  The food was delicious, Debbie made Sangria's, which after working that day, I did partake. Don't judge me.  At first I wasn't going to watch the fight but I did.  Will someone please tell me why all the hype? I expected, at the very least, for someone to land on a knee or something.  Money is being spent very recklessly in this country!

I'm glad it was a birthday party also though.  Debbie only prepared the seafood salad because she didn't want to do a tremendous amount of cooking for her own party.  I know how that can be.  She appreciated her gifts and the time that everyone took out of their schedules to help her celebrate.  I wish my entire family could have participated, Debbie has had several surgeries over the years and two or three in the last month.  We don't know how long any of us has on this earth.  Make amends while we can do so.  

Most of the members of my high school class will be 65 this year.It doesn't seem that long ago that we were 17 or 18 and looking forward to graduation.  My youngest son will be 30 in two weeks, 30!  My youngest daughter is now engaged and will, I guess, start a family in a few years.  Soon, as Debbie pointed out, she will be having everyone over for holidays.  Things are changing as they should.  Beginnings and endings, endings and beginnings; a cycle that will always be.   Something happened recently that caused me to realize, that what can seem like an unfortunate ending, is a beautiful beginning of something else.  In my case, the beginning is a peace of mind about the situation and it no longer causes me, well ~anything.  I am grateful to life and its lessons.  I am grateful that I am discovering and will discover the light for the container of life that I am in order to share it with the world.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle


      

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That's crudely put, but...

If we're not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?"  ~~ Gregory Orr

This has been a whirlwind week of events.  In order to dispense medication on the job and to become state certified, I need to take a 68 hours Med Tech course (I had a 32 hour course from a previous job with no state certification), and I need to take a Direct Care (CNA) course for 6 weeks.  The CNA course is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 - 8:30pm.  The Med Tech course will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 8;00 - 4:30 am.  I just finished the first week of the CNA course.  

On Tuesday a friend of mine, Ramona, called and asked if I wanted to have breakfast.  I had just finished a green smoothie so I wasn't hungry.  We continued to talk.  She said she needed to go to Sam's Club and Regency Mall and invited me to ride.  We had an enjoyable time and by this time we were both hungry.  She suggested River City Diner on Brook Road because I wanted waffles.  I get on these taste kicks and want what I want.  My son Jason is mystified by this.  He doesn't understand me eating by what I 'feel" to eat or having a taste for something.   Anyway, Ramona recommended the red pepper she crab soup and the chicken and waffle sandwich.  I must say the soup was delicious with chunks of crab.  If I cook chicken, it's organic but if I eat out, then not so much.  Having said that, the chicken and waffle with the special "syrup sauce" was delicious as well.

The reason Ramona wanted to go to Regency was to get a whipped curl creme by Tree Naturals which is sold on line or at Epic Curls in Regency Mall.  I have Tree's leave in conditioner which I learned was too oily for my hair; given in a short tutorial by the owner of Epic Curls.  She knew her stuff!  I knew that I didn't like the definition of my curls after using the conditioner, so I was happy to hear this explanation.  More so because I wanted to give the products a chance since this young sister is a Richmond native. The hair milk was suggested for my hair.  Let me tell you, when I say I love this product, please believe me.  The definition of my curls is on point. The shampoo, which I don't have but will try smells heavenly! Tree knows what her "curlies", as she likes to call us, needs. My friend Beryl's daughter, Davia is a hair model for Tree. I was glad for the unexpected turn of events on Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening I had class again.  On Thursday six high school friends and I went to Charlottesville for the day. We started hanging out as a group on my 59th birthday and it has continued for each person's birthday and other events.  My friend Alma has donned us "The Golden Crew".  We met in a church parking lot, then piled into the van and headed to Golden Corral for breakfast. After eating our fill, we were on our way to Charlottesville.  The scenery was pretty and the banter was typical of this particular group.  The group included Venetia, Betty, Linda, Wanda, James, Earl and myself.  We stopped to take pictures and to look at the mountains.  We thought a Ross' department store was there but alas, it was Roses.  That didn't stop Venetia, Earl and myself from looking around while the others had a very interesting facts of life class by James.  LOL   

Because no one was hungry I suggested going somewhere for a drink.  We found an Applebee's and headed to the bar.  I guess we looked like a fun group because a gentleman asked if he could join us.  After being the person to suggest having drinks, I didn't know what I wanted.  I changed my order four (4) times!  Luckily, the bartender hadn't started any yet.  I ended up with a perfect petrone margarita.  Did I say "a"?  It was more like two.  We had a great time laughing and joking with each other and the guy who came over to sit with us.  The bartender said she would take our picture and we let her.  We then headed over to the, chosen by James, place for lunch.  It's called The Wood Grill, another buffet.  James picked a winner though because the food was good.  It had everything one could possibly want and tasted better than most buffets.

On the way there and back, Venetia had questions she wanted us to answer pertaining to high school.  It was insightful to hear our older selves speak about our younger selves.  James serenaded us with song.  I asked him to sing something for me that I didn't know.  He asked anyone to call out a word and he would find a song containing the word.  Earl shouted out "trouble" which stumped James.  I immediately thought of "Trouble in Mind" by Nina Simone.  James did eventually sing something I had never heard before.  Linda sang us one we didn't know either.  We arrived back safely with plans to do it again soon.  Soon is next month and we, The Golden Crew, are headed to DC where hopefully, we will be met by Clyde and maybe others will come along.

On Friday, my friend Millie and I went to Williamsburg for lunch at a restaurant called Food For Thought.  We had gone there before. I wanted to go back on a Friday because they have oysters.  To my dismay, the oysters are served only at dinner.  Millie and I enjoyed the food anyway and we always enjoy each other's company.  This time we didn't walk around the outlet mall.  On Saturday I worked from 12pm-8:30pm.  I like that shift because I'm not relieving anyone and no one relieves me. The shift ran smoothly and went by quickly.  I baked a Lemon Chess and a Coconut Pie to take to some of my coworkers. I am now being asked to sell them.  It works for me.  It was a busy week and I went to bed early.  I like impromptu and planned activities and look forward to more.

As the quote above says: "If we're not supposed to dance, why all this music?"  I'm hearing the music, I'm listening and I'm dancing.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle