Posted on 19 Comments

A Good Friend

Two women laughing and covering each other's eyes.
Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

What does it mean to be a friend?

The dictionary defines friendship as — a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

I have never felt the need to cultivate many friends, just a select few. These ‘special’ ones, good friends, are the ones that stand the test of time. Most of my friends have been so for the better part of 20 or 30 years.

My best girl and I have been friends since kindergarten. We are now women of a certain age, so that’s been a looong friendship.

We each live our separate lives and come together whenever we need to without ever losing a beat.

She is perhaps the only person alive I feel I can tell “anything to and the message is received in the spirit it was intended. We really do understand each other. We never quarreled even during our teenage years!

We have a cool easy friendship that has stood the test of time.

I am a keeper of friends. I love people, loyal genuine folks. The type of friendships that thrives without being too demanding.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

What is the basis of a good friendship?

  1. Trust — the foundation upon which ALL relationships must be built. Otherwise, they will never stand the test of time.
  2. A kindred soul, one that is respectful, kind, generous, empathetic. Good friendship does not require that you share the same viewpoints on everything, but each must be willing to respect others’ points of view and work through any conflict towards a resolution.
  3. A keeper of secrets and a safe harbor to rest. Everyone needs a confidante. A friend you can trust with your secret is a boon.
  4. Honesty— this is non-negotiable! Without honesty, no relationship can grow or prosper. Lies, deceit, and betrayal will swiftly cause the demise of any budding friendship.
  5. A cheerleader — He/she encourages your dreams and aspirations and does all they can to help you achieve them.
  6. Maintain individuality— each person must own and maintain their separate spaces in which to pursue their own interests. Later they come together with fresh perspectives, hopes, dreams, and even failures.
  7. Generous with time — As with any relationship, great friendships must be nurtured. This requires carving out time for mutual interests and bonding.
  8. Provides a voice of reason, camaraderie, and belonging. Empower your friend with the freedom and to tell you when and if they think you are heading down a wrong path. Be willing to listen, hear them, and take time to see their point of view.

Photo by Liz Weddon on Unsplash

Final thoughts

If friendships are to survive, some ground rules must be set. A few of the necessary qualities are honesty, trust, compassion, and love.

A good friend is any person with whom you can let your hair down, so to speak. In their presence you feel safe, loved, welcomed, and most importantly you are free to be yourself. A great friend is one with whom there is no need for pretense.

If you should find such a friend, make time to nurture and cement that bond.

Finally, be as good a friend to them as you hope they will be for you.

Be safe, be well!!

Posted on 19 Comments

Beauty Along My Walk

Brilliant violet flower

These flowers looked so lovely to me.

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These are wild flowers — I have no idea what they are called.

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The one below looks like a painting.

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Hope you enjoy … I love photography and will be exploring photography in more depth.

Have a blessed day!!

 

 

 

 

Posted on 54 Comments

Update on How I am Doing

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I took this picture while at work last Saturday the day I realized I had COVID – looks are deceiving. 

Thank you All for your Prayers and Well Wishes!!!

My friends, I remain in quarantine and I can say that truly God is a good God. Even though I was well aware that I could become infected with COVID, due to the nature of the path I chose,  I thought I was taking all the precautions I could.

I work with two other ladies most frequently and they are both in their sixties and both are cancer survivors. As such whenever we have had to swab and care for a patient “under interest” I have been the one more in contact with the patients as I know these women would be more at risk than myself.

I am not a hero just a human. I have grown to love these women.

Since I have been unwell I have been speaking with both these ladies as they are experiencing symptoms as well. The one lady that I worked my last two shifts with is really feeling poorly even though her COVID test came back negative. She has been having more severe symptoms than myself. She is also in quarantine.

Each day I arise and thank God for Jesus! Yes I am happy. Psalms 23 – Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil….!!!! AMEN.

God is a good God and we shall all make it to the other side, my co-workers and I. I sleep with some healing scriptures playing on my nightstand as I want the healing promises to soak into my spirit even in repose.  (I always do this when I seek God out, I let his word settle in my soul. I will make a post about it one day).

How I feel:

  • Weakness (getting better each day)
  • Shortness of breath with exertion (it is resolving)
  • Headache — my worst symptom (it just hangs around)
  • Inability to concentrate for long periods
  • A heaviness in my head (feeling it as I type this now)
  • Sleeping a lot (the body needs rest to heal)

I never recorded a fever or a cough. 

What I am using for my immune system:

  • Zinc – 15mg
  • Vitamin D -5,000 IU
  • Vitamin C – 1000mg
  • Tumeric, aloe vera, garlic, ginger and celery blended drink (I just chug it down, can’t taste anyway)
  • Rest – as the body dictates
  • Exercise – I keep it moving, even if I just walk around the backyard in the sun.

Some of what breaks my heart:

  1. My boss has the nerve to ask me, “where do you think you got COVID from?” (we have been screening patients prior to surgery, screening and seeing the general public, the doctors see pre-surgery patients as well all day, some of which have been COVID positive and we mingle and share space with those doctors all day!). Is she for real.
  2. We were never given the appropriate protective gear. We wear surgical masks, can you imagine! Surgical masks do not protect from COVID, especially not in a healthcare setting where we are likely to come into direct contact with the virus.
  3. I could have potentially infected my family and my mother is an elderly woman. But I praise and thank GOD!!!!
  4. I cannot hug and comfort my children. My little snookums who I had been sleeping with since his dad left for NY is my constant companion. I have exposed him more so than anyone else. Him being my baby, I tickle and play and kiss him up all the time, and I was already infected and shedding COVID all over my child.
  5. Being unable to be and play with him, now I have to see him in passing and go outside to talk to him for a bit. He always has new engineering wonders to show me and now I cannot interact with him.
  6. On top of me being ill his dad is still in NY, so he does not have a real parent right now. Gee wanted to come home, I said no. We had always decided only one of us would take a risk at any given time.
  7. My daughter is petrified to come down to the bottom floor where I am in my own space.
  8. I am fed by them placing my meals outside my door. That is a hoot…being fed, I find humor in it.

On the road to recovery:

My Gee is always on the phone with me and a source of support and knowledge. My mother and my children are here and my friends are all helping to keep me together. I go outdoors often to look at the plants and I have been watching NETFLIX – oftentimes I fall asleep during a show.

I do love to watch movies and shows in other languages, especially French as I think it activates new neurons to hear and follow the plot while reading subtitles and trying to stay on top of the many nuances. My future guarantee against Alzheimer’s.

So I am coping pretty well.

I trust in my God and in that knowledge, I rest knowing this too shall pass.

Stay blessed and stay well.

 

Posted on 41 Comments

A Man Called Daddy

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

This is my mother’s story.

My mother was born to a great father. He was daddy to nine children and a wonderful “uncle James” to many more. His own father was killed when he was a mere two years old. His dad, a farmer was killed when he was butted and gored by one of his own cows.

So her daddy did not have his own role model.

My mother is the first girl and the third child of nine. She loved her daddy dearly and cannot remember a time when she heard a harsh word pass his lips. By all accounts he was a godly and gentle man, filled with wisdom and love for his family, his friends and his neighbors. He knew God’s words backwards and forward and even as he lay on the verge of transitioning he would redirect anyone on incorrect scripture.

According to my grandfather, a man can be successful and achieve anything if he is determined to work hard, always saved a portion of his earnings and if he is blessed with a contented wife!

My mom remembers that as a farmer, (he farmed vegetables and rice and reared animals), he would always share with his community. If anyone stole his produce he would theorize that they needed it more than he did.

He would frown upon abuse of any kind especially that of men and their wives. My grandpa grew up with little, that was soon after slavery was abolished, (my patriarchal side of the family were instrumental in the abolishment of slavery, I am so proud of my heritage). My grandfather and his brothers would purchase land together with other relatives and as such he was able to leave a sizeable legacy for his children. 

My mother, her siblings and everyone who knew my grandpa, remembers him as a kind, wise and blessed soul.

My mother has expressed that she will be buried alongside her father as there is nowhere else she would rather spend eternity. Now that speaks volumes for the daddy he was!

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

I wish all his grandchildren had gotten to know him.

I called him daddy as well and remember a kind and gentle man who told his grandkids stories sitting under a tree in the backyard. I was 6 years old when he died.

I am sure today is “Father’s Day” in heaven as well, where great daddys’ are rewarded for serving their children well.

 

Posted on 25 Comments

Spoken Word — Powerful

I do not know this artist, but his words touch the core of my being.

This spoken word piece was sent to me by my dear cousin. She grew up in England. I thought I would share as it moved me as every word he spoke resonated with me.

I pray someone out there get the message of his words and a heart is influenced.

Peace and blessings.

 

Posted on 61 Comments

Okra — Benefits

Photo by Elianna Friedman on Unsplash

Okra – originated in Ethiopia and scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus.  From Ethiopia, okra had journeyed to North Africa, the Mediterranean, Arabia and India all by the 12th century.

A hardy plant, okra can be cultivated almost anywhere. This vegetable is known as gumbo in America, lady’s finger in England, guino-gombo in Spanish, guibeiro in Portuguese and bhindi in India, to name a few.

In its original home of Ethiopia it is also called Kenkase, Andeha, and Bamia.

According to MedicalNewsToday, one cup of okra weighing approximately 100 grams contains a whopping 20 vitamins and minerals. Sounds like a superfood to me. I have been eating this vegetable all my life. I did not always appreciate its gifts.

Now at this time in my life I truly appreciate its versatile culinary preparations, this was not always the case.

What I did not know back then was that okra was chock full of most of what our bodies requires in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting compounds.

We are all well aware that our bodies work at its optimum when we consume a diet rich in the recommended amounts of the various food groups.

Some of the benefits of okra:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes by lowering blood sugar, it regulates the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the intestinal tract.
  • Reduces kidney damage.
  • Toxin removal – utilizing the mucilage found in okra
  • Cancer – contains a compound lectin that can kill cancer cells.
  • Cardiovascular – its high fiber content aids cholesterol expulsion from the body.
  • Osteoporosis – its vitamin K content helps keep bones healthy and strong.
  • Gastrointestinal – prevents constipation and more.
  • Seeds contain oil and proteins.

Be aware:

  • Kidney stones – okra is high in oxalates
  • Gastrointestinal upset – contains fructans a type of carbohydrate that can cause gas, bloating etc.
  • Joint pain – contains solanine a compound that may trigger joint pain.
  • Blood-thinning properties – due to the presence of vitamin K.

Okra seemingly has numerous health benefits. It is great for helping to keep your liver and kidneys healthy. It reduces oxidative stress, promotes healthy skin and blood and from personal is great for hair as well.

Check with your healthcare provider if you are taking blood thinners due to the presence of vitamin K a known blood thinner. 

References:

Below are some pictures of okra in cultivation from my mother’s kitchen garden.

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Dated 04/11/2020

My mother is the primary gardener, these are the fruits of her hands.

The rest of us are “the helpers”. My mother is blessed to grow things, anything grows that she plants. She planted these okra from seeds and they have been doing what they do. For myself I derive so much pleasure from helping and just observing things growing under the heavens.

I talk to the plants and I am always the first one to see their fruits … a gift of mine my mother says, lol.

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Dated 05/02/2020

The babies are thriving and flourishing. It is a thing of beauty.

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Dated 05/27/2020

Growing and looking so nice and healthy.

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Dated 05/31/2020

Flower bud in progress above.

Same day these images taken from different angle (below).

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The view from another angle. They are so healthy. I love it!

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Dated 06/04/2020

This morning this flower decided to open up to see the sun. The first fruits of the labor of love. My favorite time of the growing cycle. Soon we will be consuming these babies.

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Dated 06/04/2020 – for some reason, I could not get this image any clearer, the day is over and the flower has done its work, by tomorrow it will wither and reveal the new okra. 

In picture above, the okra tree is doing what nature has designed it to do, grow and produce.

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This is my mother proudly displaying the fruits from the works of her hands (July 2020). The long one is a variety from South America.

The smaller ones below are the regular variety found here.

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Stay safe, stay well, lets learn to live in peace and respect …….. IF we cannot live in love. 

Posted on 5 Comments

Memorial Day

An American flag and written words stating Happy Memorial Day!

To the many brave souls … We salute YOU!  –   (Image:Canva.com)

This year Memorial Day is a somber affair.

The weather is gray and bleak and appears to mirror perfectly what the current landscape is.

We give thanks the many many brave men and women to whom we/I owe so much of our freedoms.

I take this time to reflect on their service and sacrifice.

I feel especially moved this day perhaps heightened because of what we are going through. I reflect on young people leaving their homes, their lives and families … A debt we can never hope to repay.

Again, my gratitude and a prayer for their souls. Blessings!

Image: Canva.com
Posted on 38 Comments

Happy Mothers’ Day

Social Distancing (1)

A Tribute To Mothers

Mother:

According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, mother means: to give birth to.

That definition is inadequate.

A mother is a woman of substance, integrity and morals filled with all the love in the world. 

Mother: she embarks on a journey without understanding that she will never again be whole. She travels and travails often not fully comprehending the sacrifices that will be required of her.

Her body will never again be the same, she will bear the marks of her arduous journey forever. Her hard work may never be acknowledged. 

Along the dusty path she will grow from strength to strength and she will bear the marks of her victory. 

Once she crosses the finish line, the unmistakable transfiguration is completed.

She will seek to protect that life from the world and from all who dwells within it. She  will go without, sleep, food, water or air if it is demanded of her.

She gives and gives and keeps on giving. She learns to trust others to teach what she cannot herself.

Her heart breaks and aches when she has to leave knowing that no one will ever love like only she can. 

She will move heaven and earth, she will battle the demons of hell, she will do whatever it takes to protect her young.

A mother’s love is constant, enduring and as perennial as the air.

A blessing from God, his physical assurance of love. A glimpse of his undeniable love for us, imparted into mothers. 

She loves her children more than her own life. She would lay that life down in a moment for the one she loves!

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The Comfort of a Mother

Proverbs 31:25-30 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

Mothers: most are wonderful, unselfish, sacrificing, giving, gentle, generous but unfortunately mothers grow old.

When a woman is young, it is usually all about her, once she becomes a mother a godly switch happens.

That tiny bit of God imbibed in her erupts to the surface and continuously flows outward to her offspring.

I believe God made mothers as a small extension of himself.  

My Mother

My mother, my intercessor, my ride or die and the keeper of my secrets.

I could not be a fraction of who I am without her. I am eternally grateful.

My mother, my backbone, my helper, my friend.

What would we do without our mothers?

Where would we be?

A wonderful Mother’s Day!!! To the mothers by biology or by design, it is your day to shine!

God bless each one and their mother/mothers. Amen!

 

Posted on 31 Comments

My Award Nominations…

Kidney Disease (5)

Good day to my WordPress family!

My dear friends, I have been nominated for a few awards.

I am ever so grateful and thankful for the love and kindness shown me here on this platform.

I came to WordPress and was met and welcomed with open arms and I aim to do the same for all bloggers I cross paths with.

On my many (smile) awards. Please do not for a moment think I take the honor lightly. I do not!

I would like to take this time to make a general acceptance for my various nominations.

I appreciate you. More than you can know.

You all provide an important “grounding” for my soul and I am forever in your debt.

For I love all the blogs I follow as I find a different voice, a unique perspective from all the differing points of view.

That is one of the many positive aspects of blogging that I love, but there are too many to list.

Again I am grateful, thank you so much.

To my recent followers:

To all my new friends, please know I am always happy to see a new “follower” and I thank you so much.

Much love, peace and blessings on us ALL!

Posted on 26 Comments

For Every Thing … Give Thanks

Kidney Disease (1)

“Be grateful for what you have, then you will always have more to be grateful for!” (author unknown)

 

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“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.” (author unknown)

 

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The joy of the Lord is our strength. For everything, and in every season, let us give thanks…

Have a wonderful, blessed and safe day!!