Friday, July 31, 2015

Black Girl Gardening

When I was a little girl I had a bright green thumb. I followed after my grandmother in her lovely garden extracting pesky weeds in the grass, picking and shelling gongo peas, plucking ripe ackee off the tree, and watering all the blooming plants like white orchids, french thyme.

Well many many years go by and my green thumb has shrunk, withered, and almost died. How that happened, well I'm not too sure? I just basically stopped helping in the garden. However as I mentioned in the previous post I alot of the books I have been reading has me interested in gardening again.  Well here's to a new start in living well and here to a start in my own little garden.

Gardening is a marvelous thing in of itself. Gardening allows me to be one with nature and help bring about life. From the seeds I am planting, watering, and nurturing a new life forms. Or I can look at it in another perspective; I save money by producing your own food :)  The wonderful world of gardening allows me to grow my own expensive fruits like mango, pineapples, and avacados. Compared to the stores prices the mango tree we have is better, sweeter, and having matured a long while back its priceless. Depending on what foods tolerate and thrive in the South Florida climate I can grow tomatoes, lettuce, kale, blueberries and more.

My lovely grandmother has been wonderful in the assistance of the start of my own little garden. I began with the cuttings of a french thyme plant and golden pathos plant, the baby pulp of aloe vera, and the roots of an orchid. I am recoloring my green thumb by starting out with plants, herbs, and flowers rather than cultivating food. I say this because I really want a few plants in my bedroom. In the meantime I'll help with my grandmothers garden which is mainly food produce and eventually branch off on my own later :)

Roots of the French Thyme

French Thyme by the Windowsill
French Thyme by the Windowsill

Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera Plant

Saturday, July 25, 2015

What's on My Bookshelf?

My thoughts lately have been centered on food; growing and cultivating it, consuming it, the history of it, and the politics surrounding it. My thoughts have also been a bit all over the place with relationships, from friendships to romantic ones, all types really.

  The modern era way of cooking and eating has ignited a desire in me to cultivate some of my own food and go back to the basics. It also helps that my grandmother has her own full fledged garden, that I used to tend to when I was a little girl. Why my little green thumb faded, I don't no how or why, but its welcoming back color now :)  So the herbs book I picked up at the local bookstore while browsing the gardening section really caught my attention, The book is perfect in the way the information is sectioned and designed. Speaks on gardening a particular herb, harvesting and storing, the medicinal use, and the art of cooking that particular herb. Herbs , I am looking forward to cultivating are basil, dandelion, chamomile, and in particular lavender. Imagine a bedroom smelling of lavender :)  Tastes of Paradise was a required reading book from my 10th grade AP world history class. Well the thing is...we never got around to reading the darn book that semester. Well this summer I set about reading the book and surely did so. Short read of only 200+ pages about how various stimulants, spices, and intoxicants became a social class cue, affected politics, feminism, and history. Like when chocolate was introduced to the European palette it became the drink of royals as a status symbol and only royal men of the court specifically. Then chocolate changed classes and became sweets and gifts for women and children, while simultaneously loosing its status symbol.

Rumi is a name I stumble across quite often on Tumblr posts but never really paid much attention. Now I notice his quotes everywhere. Its by random chance I stumbled across this book, because the front cover captivated me. Intriguing design, don't you think so? A translated book of poetry by a Persian poet and scholar, that comments on spiritual connections and mystical themes. One line that has really touched me: "Love is the soul's light, the taste of morning, no me, no we, no claim of being. These words are the smoke the fire gives off as it absolves its defects, as eyes in silence, tears, face. Love cannot be said." - Rumi, the Glance. Years ago I when I was a Netflix junkie, I binge watched random documentaries. Food Inc. was one in particular that was a strikingly good, honest, and eye opening film. That same year, I found the film's standout book for one dollar at my university Campus book sale :)  Its the rapid industrialization of food farming and production and its even more rapidly negative outcomes that genuinely alarmed me. Food Inc. is a book about the various sides to see modern American food production, the history and future of it and what everyday citizens are capable of when informed.

These last two books are bit controversial. But what's a blog without a bit of controversy, eh? No marriage is not just for white people but that's not entirely what this book is about. Its about the ever declining marriage rate for all Americans but especially for Blacks Americans. It's also about Back women's dating and marriage options reality based and those perceived. If one's pool of dating options is quite crowded or too shallow, then its best to come over to a bigger and better pool to fish and swim around in :)
Lolita is one of those books I was quite surprised to hear being raved about by various people. I have heard about this book for a long time and did not even consider buying it until I came across it for one dollar at my campus book sale. The book as the name suggests is very controversial and was banned at one point I believe. As of now Lolita is an iconic book and heralded as a literary work of writing.


I am a magazine lover...but not just any kind. I treasure quality print publications with engaging articles, relevant subjects, excellent writers, humor, and awesome design. I believe I have found it all in this new magazine, WOMANKIND. The front cover of Frida Khalo grabbed my attention and the actually amazing content kept my attention. Womankind is a philosophy magazine with a geared focus on women. One article is o the history of bee keeping, why bees are disappearing, and why we should do our part and cultivate flowers to keep bees pollinating. Another article tells of a close knit community of women in a small town in central Mexico fighting against the uninvited logging community and winning. Womankind magazine is officially a new magazine staple.

Did any of these books grab your attention? Feel free to comment and say so :) By the way, what's on your bookshelf at the moment?

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Comes First...

What comes first race, gender, nationality, or religion? After first place is filled, what falls into second place, third, and last? However you order these labels numerically gives a clue into who you are as a person and whom you give your allegiance to.When I first came across this question I mulled it over and reflected on the labels earnestly for some time. Originally this question began with only race, gender, and nationality as identity labels. However I included religion due to religion being an immensely crucial identity label for most people.

Self-preservation is the first law of nature. It is universal amongst all living organisms and a hallmark of life. In enacting self-preservation mode it should be noted BLIND allegiance to any label, movement, or identity refutes the basic premise of self-presevation. So the answer to the question above, what identity label comes first... yourself. Yourself should come first before any social label you personally give yourself. I understand my answer to this question may sound a bit sarcastic or "above it all" because well 'yourself' is not presented as a choice in the question. However an inquistive person determines when to bend the rules and think outside the small box :)

Now in understanding social order, I am aware that other people tend to see the labels of gender, race, nationality, and religion first over individual identity. Therefore I choose gender as my second identity. Anything else in identity is of a lesser degree of importance to me. That is how i have always operated ad it as served me well. My allegiance is to myself as an indivual person and then as a woman.

I have a right to exist and so do you. Even more so you have a right to a lofty and well lived exsistence. Its imperative that you place your needs and wants first before giving any BLIND allegiance to anything or anyone else. Self-preservation is about honoring yourself first. Your identity as YOURSELF is more crucial than any other identity in regards to self-preservation. What say you... what identity label do you rank in order of importance? Did you rank yourself first before any other identity?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Treat Yourself to a Little Bit of Magic

In continuation with my self-love and self-investment journey. I implemented a new routine for my everyday morning. Now this routine came about when I started to overhaul my bedroom clearing all clutter and rearranging the bedroom decor. I decided to move my routine of This routine of primping and preening in my bedroom rather than the bathroom. Usually I would apply my skincare, sunscreen, makeup, and fix up my hair. All while standing in bathroom over the sink. Now once I finish my skincare and apply my sunscreen to the bedroom vanity I go...
and treat myself to a little bit of magic :)

Bedroom vanities in particular, gives the process of beautification a luxurious and glamorous feel for a woman. Every morning I awaken and after my morning routine of hygiene and skincare in the bathroom, I head towards the bedroom for my morning vanity time. Vanity time continues the self love experience because I am pampering my outer self and indulging in a ritual of feminine elegance.

There are various ways to style one's vanity. The main stays in the decor of a vanity usually includes:

  •    Glass bottles of perfume
  •    Container to hold jewelry
  •    Simple vase of flowers
  •    Container for makeup     
  •    products
  •    A Framed photograph
  •    Vanity mirror

For my own vanity I have certain preferences. I use nicely decorated ceramic containers for my jewelry and makeup. Lovely glass bottles for perfume, and freshly cut flowers over artificial plastic flowers. I do my best to stay away from plastic as I prefer glass or ceramic as these two give a more luxurious feel. Of course nicely stained wood is nice as well for the vanity itself. Now to give the feeling of elegance and bits of luxury for your vanity this formula goes as follows. Apply the three senses of touch, sight, and smell:

Sense of Touch by applying various oils, creams, and powders for the hair and skin.

Sense of Smell by spraying a light cloud of fragrance
from perfume bottles.
Sense of Sight by preening in front of a mirror with adornments
 like pearl earrings or a nice gold hair piece.