Jan 31, 2010

staying under the covers...

Don't you love the days when you get up and don't just have to jump right up and start your day?

I love waking up and just laying in bed. I read a devotion or inspirational piece, random wiki stuff, I watch tv, or text friends I know may be up also. It's so mellow. Love it. There must be some medical benefit to lazying because I feel remarkably better after.

Now onto reality, a laundry bag that looks to be about 50lbs, no breakfast food, and soft tires. Things that all need to be done in the frigid temps. Yuck.

Jan 30, 2010

no phone zones

I saw Oprah's show and was converted.

Too many people are dying on the road from distractions. The worst of it are the children :(

It is not only the phone of course, it's also make up, and other distractions. You know what yours are and I know what mine are. I definitely am (but now it's a "was") guilty of texting and speaking on my cell while driving with no hands free. No more. I need to get a bluetooth so I can have a conversation if necessary.


I got a testimony!

Yesterday I tried to complete my tuition exemption form online to have my classes paid for and in place of the form I saw a message saying I was no longer eligible for tuition exemption.

::heart hits floor::

So I call the number that's included in the message with bated breath. The lady who came on explained that my employer is no longer offering tuition exemption to my particular type of staff. So new hires get none, and persons starting programs in 2010 get none either. Since I started last year, I have to just take a few extra steps (the annoyance I will certainly tolerate) and I'll have my tuition covered. Now, I have to get a letter stating I began my degree program in 2009 and bring it to another part of the organization to be allowed to fill out a form and have it signed. I have made the request for that letter and I'm hoping to be able to pick it up on Monday.

I am oh, so grateful for this! I would have had to quit/take a leave of absence or quite a bit of loans to complete the program BUT thank God I don't!
"...blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him."
Jeremiah 17:7

Jan 29, 2010


Getting it from others, and giving it to people are both very difficult. But guess what is rewarding though? Coming to the realization that those who love and care for you, will always support and offer a sense of acceptance.
My wedding day. This is my Auntie Marcia giving me a huge hug. I kinda jumped into her arms when I saw her show up at the door of the hotel room I was getting dressed in. This was my first teary eyed moment that day. Why? Because I could feel the love, strength, & support pouring from her to me. She loved me, wished me the best, and every happiness. Even today, loving words of advice still pour out from her.

I had to learn to live without acceptance from certain persons in my life because it was too exhausting to keep vying for it. Trying to do things, say things, eat things, wear things, be places, and stress over things because so-and-so doesn’t like this, or this person isn’t talking to that person, or "I did it for you, so now you should do it for me." I had to let it all go. I am glad who I am, is good enough for those who love me. I mean, people do disappoint from time to time. It is the nature of the process. I am sure I have disappointed people, and sometimes people disappoint me. But there's this thing called forgiveness - you gotta give it to receive it!

I am not saying I don't care what others think or that you can't have an opinion on something going on in someone's life, especially someone you love. What I am saying is that you (or I) shouldn't be thinking about someone else's life so deeply that there is a need to provide constant commentary or criticism. It is in poor taste and it is hurtful. What I am saying is I try my best not to spend time constantly evaluating my friends' and family's decisions and actions to see if they meet my level of approval. Of course, I have my standards. I would never knowingly have friendships or be close with people who were criminals, unethical, deceptive, malicious, or dangerously selfish. In addition, I would never sit aside and see a friend or family hurt physically or emotionally, or in a bad situation, and keep it shut. That's for wimps. But I have stopped trying to place Shumpy’s Stamp of Approval on anyone. My opinions remain my opinions, and they are how I live my life, but they don’t have to be my friend’s or family’s opinion. I have come to learn that being a great friend involves not being selfish or demanding. I have to allow people to give and not force it from them. Ever since I realized that, I have released myself from the pressure of doing things to please people and having out of proportion expectations from those in my life.

My aim in life is to be true to myself while taking care not to injure those around me. Being the true you should never become hurtful, poisonous, or isolating. It should be something others admire.
"Real strength is a decision and can be found within each of us. It is our opportunity to awaken our inner strength and live the life we desire; to create, explore, and accomplish the things we hold dear. It takes strength to be in a loving relationship, raise a family, be yourself, and allow others to be themselves."

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”
Peace Pilgrim

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength."
Frances De Sales

Jan 28, 2010

"one one coco full basket!"

translation: do not expect success overnight, take it slowly

Just a pleasant reminder to me (and you!) that we don't have to gain success or achieve all our dreams right now. Yes, sometimes it doesn't even look like we're even close to getting there but we have to keep at it.

Maybe you're having difficulty completing a task, maybe you haven't even started on the journey to where you want to be, or maybe you don't even know where you're going. Be encouraged that every bit of effort you can make towards achieving that end is valuable. Even if it seems fruitless or unrewarding. All your answers and/or rewards may not come at once, but work hard and dedication will get you all that you are deserving of!

Jan 26, 2010


This is fun irony my friend, K shared with me this morning.

She's been in a medical rotation in Hyannis Port, MA for the past 3 months and throughout she's told me little stories of these 3 ladies (a.k.a. the 3 musketeers) that are what we Jamaicans call extra. They volunteer to do everything, even things that don't need to be done. They basically won't give residents, attendings, or the program directors air to breathe, jumping at every single task as if they are more dedicated than their counterparts. Well, after all this stellar behavior and air of excellence, you'd think they'd leave the rotation (which ended on Fri) with glowing reviews *tsk tsk* NOPE.

Why did 2 or 3 of the group steal the toilet paper from the hospital (or maybe just their section or floor) on the last day of rotations? SERIOUSLY? Why on earth would you do that? Well, the great part is they were caught (dwl) and now the rotation director has demanded that they return the stolen property. So, one or all of them need to haul ass back to Massachusetts to return stolen toilet paper. How embarrassing but totally satisfying??


All that faking for nothin' at the end of the day.
"The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere"
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Jan 25, 2010

the number 8!

Why am I loving the number 8 you ask?

I am now back to fitting in size 8 NY & Co work pants *HUGE grin*

That's my dream size. Don't wanna get too small now. I plan to have another reason to love Mr. 8 because you see, before the spring is over I hope to have lost 8 lbs. I think that will make me a comfortable size 8 a.k.a. a size 8 on bloated days *tsk tsk*

Wish me luck!

great weekends

Don't you just hate when you've worked all week on school stuff, work stuff, life stuff, everything and are looking forward to the weekend and it's a bust?! You get into a fuss with your spouse or a friend, or you spend time doing something you'd rather not, or you're sick. Nothing gets to me more. Well, I didn't have one of those *smile*

I feel that a great weekend is the reward for a long, sometimes trying but most times tiring week. This weekend I had great family time, lovely worship, time with friends I hadn't seen in toooooo long, a couple good hair days where my ousted bang made a comeback (lol!) AND a lovely Sunday nap. I am not a daytime sleeper but when I do manage to fall asleep during the daytime, it is always a reward. I must say I did get a parking ticket and I had a run in with a deviant stocking that I bought on Friday and still cannot locate, but the net result was still a fantastic weekend.

Today I'm feeling productive and fresh despite the fact that I'm damp from the rain and was mauled by the 40-plus m.p.h. winds we're having in NYC. I hope and pray my car is not crushed and the lights stay on. The sound the wind is making is scary!

Hope you had a great weekend too! Feel free to share...
"There aren't enough days in the weekend"
Rod Schmidt

Jan 22, 2010

Food Network and HGTV


They are back. A happier TV viewer you could not find. If Cablevision ever does that again, I'll be with Fios so fast they won't know what happened.

Jan 21, 2010


All this news on the Haitian earthquake has really got me doing cursory research into the history of Haiti. A few of my friends have also been seeking and sharing information - and nearly all major U.S. media outlets have been reporting - of a Haiti devastated and broken before the earthquake.

To quote John Henley of The Guardian, "Haiti has had slavery, revolution, debt, deforestation, corruption, exploitation and violence," says Alex von Tunzelmann, a historian and writer currently working on a book about the country and its near neighbours, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. "Now it has poverty, illiteracy, overcrowding, no infrastructure, environmental disaster and large areas without the rule of law. And that was before the earthquake. It sounds a terrible cliche, but it really is a perfect storm. This is a catastrophe beyond our worst imagination."

The article stated that the slave rebellion that began in 1791 and continued to November 1803, resulted in thousands of slaves being hanged, drowned, burned, and buried alive. This battle resulted in the first free black state in our hemisphere. Haiti declared independence on January 1, 1804. One would think that after such a brutal battle (on both sides) for freedom from reportedly one of the most inhuman and violent slave colonies, that Haiti would be able to reap the benefits of also being one of the most profitable Caribbean colonies. Not quite. It is reported that life expectancy for a Haitian slave was 21 years, and that despite the small size of the French colony in comparison to its counterparts, Haiti accounted for more than one-third of the entire Atlantic slave trade. France's success - Haiti exported 60% of all the coffee and 40% of all the sugar consumed in Europe in the 1780s - was built through dreadful abuse and exploitation. One former Haitian slave is quoted as writing "Have they not hung up men with heads downward, drowned them in sacks, crucified them on planks, buried them alive, crushed them in mortars?" when describing the atrocities they faced under the hands of the French. So, basically, the French slaves fought for their freedom in what was at the time a hugely successful colony that clearly the French did not want to lose.

One would think that the success of Haiti coupled with the fact that as Haiti gained its independence, the French Revolution in 1789, and the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783 were resulting in a new mindset of human rights (Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Declaration of Independence). Would that relate to the male citizens of the free black state of Haiti? Where would Haiti fit?

The Challenges

First off, the revolution left destruction to the Haiti's infrastructure and plantations. The other reasons appear to vary depending on who's doing the reporting. The Guardian article seems to place some blame on the decades of corrupt governance under Papa Doc (I wish I could promise to get back to this man but I doubt I'll get to him but the gall of his son making a donation to Haiti post-Jan 12 earthquake with the funds his family stole from the country!), the reparations that had to be paid to France, and the deforestation due to poor land management beginning with the French and then by the Haitian people as they cut it down and utilized it for housing, and charcoal. After reading this article I thought to myself, "the poor Haitians." It just seemed like they fought for independence so valiantly but due to poor land management, corrupt government officials, and a greedy France, they were destined to end up where they are today. Mostly very poor, with little to no infrastructure and no way to rebound from the slew of natural disasters they have faced recently. Further reading helped to offer some depth to the explanations given in The Guardian article.

Jamaican columnist, John Maxwell (Jamaica Observer) in his Jan 17th article No, Mister? You Cannot Share My Pain! helps explain how the reparations participated not only in the financial but wider crippling of Haiti. According to this article, the United States' City Bank offered the Haitians a 'debt exchange,' paying off the French reparation, or rather a portion of the debt, for a lower interest, longer term debt (that was paid off in 1947). This would seem to be offering a helping hand but it was this involvement and fear of Haiti defaulting on their loans that resulted in the US occupation of Haiti (1915-1934 -wiki source so read with care). During this occupation, the US seized their treasury, exiled their president, and instituted American Jim Crow policies to separate the society. Under US occupation, foreigners could own land in Haiti (versus Haiti's previous constitution that offered refuge and land to any escaped slave of any color only after they were made citizens and certified as 'black' regardless of color), the introduction of US enterprise resulted in the felling of old growth Mahogany and Caribbean Pine for doors, boats, etc. The deforested land was used to produce goods such as rubber and sisal for ropes. In fact, thousands of hectares of additional land was razed for agribusiness by the Haitian government in compliance with the US.

Maxwell quotes author, Marguerite Laurent as writing "Don't expect to learn how a people with a Vodun culture that reveres nature and especially the Mapou (oak-like or ceiba pendantra/bombax) trees, and other such big trees as the abode of living entities and therefore as sacred things, were forced to watch the Catholic Church, during Rejete - the violent anti-Vodun crusade - gather whole communities at gunpoint into public squares, and forced them to watch their agents burn Haitian trees in order to teach Haitians their Vodun Gods were not in nature, that the trees were the 'houses of Satan'."

The third and final article I will include in this post is by Sir Hilary Beckles. In his piece he fills in some blank spaces in the story thus far:

1. At the declaration of independence in the US, slavery had yet to be abolished...clearly if the US wasn't planning to free its slaves, having Haiti a free and independent state of black slaves was not necessarily the most ideal situation.
2. Reparations - the French refused to recognize the Haitian's hard won independence and instead declared them a pariah state. The US refused to recognize them, and the British who were negotiating with the French to obtain ownership of Haiti, also stood in solidarity with the French. To quote Sir Beckles, "Haiti was isolated at birth - ostracized and denied access to world trade, finance, and institutional development...Then came 1825...The economy is bankrupt; the political leadership is isolated. The cabinet took the decision that the state of affairs could not continue." This once flourishing French colony "had to find a way to be inserted back into the world economy. The French government was invited to a summit. Officials...told the Haitian government that they were willing to recognize the country as a sovereign nation but it would have to pay compensation and reparation in exchange." A value was placed on all lands, physical assets, citizens, animals, properties, and services.

This began the systematic destruction of Haiti as the payment amounted to 70% of the country's foreign exchange earnings. The last payment to France was made in 1922. Defeated on the battlefield, France had won on the field of finance. In the years when coffee crops failed, or sugar yield was down, the Haitian government borrowed on the French money market at double the going interest rate in order to repay the French government a debt they should not have paid at all.

The earthquake in "many ways...has been less destructive than the hate. Human life was snuffed out by the quake, while the hate has been long and inhumane suffocation - a crime against humanity."

3. A final note - in 2001 at the UN Conference on Race in Durban, South Africa, strong representation was made to the French government to repay the 150 million francs now valued at US$21 billion. Makes a lot of sense to me.

I hate when people harp on the past and use it as an excuse for lack of progress. I have never actually gotten passionate about the request of other groups of slave descendants requests for reparations because I see that as black people, because of the struggles of our ancestors, we have opportunity to succeed and do exceedingly well. In fact, I take pride in doing well without any special consideration even if it requires working doubly hard. However, I'm sure you'll agree that there is a debt owed to the people of Haiti. Not for the brutality of slavery, the profits from it, being made less than human and objectified, the rape of our mothers and sisters, or the murder of a generation of people, language, culture, and civilization, BUT the audacity of expecting these same marginalized people who have fought for their freedom to pay reparations to the source of all that abuse. That in no way was or ever will be fair and won't ever sit well with me.

I believe in donating time and money continuously but in times like these, it is good to help those in urgent and immediate need.

Knowledge is key. It is the first step to advancement. How will we better our future if we do not know the lessons of our past? The first obligation we all have to our children, siblings, relatives, and other human beings is to share the information we gain. If we do not know the history of our peoples and the world around us, how can we progress? There are some questions we never think to ask, and things we will possibly never encounter unless someone shares their experience and/or their knowledge. Even the smallest bit. Perhaps it will light a spark and encourage further inquiry. That alone is a gift.

Disclaimer: this post is blend of my opinion and the articles I have read. I have borrowed liberally but I have shared my sources. Read and come to your own conclusions. It is not for you to agree with me, BUT for you to seek!

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it"
George Santayana

Jan 20, 2010


Yup. I am not above a good wholesome bribe.

My coworker just gave me this stash for helping her with her excel spreadsheet. Now, is this what she thinks of me? Well, she's right. For the right person, and the right price in goodies (chippies banana chips, and catch chocolate in particular), I can be bought :)


I'm an early to bed, early to rise kinda gal so when I have work (not to mention school) and I don't get to bed on time, I am off kilter for the rest of the day. I also can't catch up on sleep during the day - I have to be exhausted to get my body to nap. At night, if I don't head to bed at the right time, sometimes my body forces it on me. Yup. I have fallen asleep on a date during a movie (and that's when we just started dating too lol). I won't talk about at home. That I do all the time in the middle of conversations, movies, phone calls.

This morning I had to be on campus at 8:15 am to prep for a course we're launching. Maaaaaan, it is indescribably difficult to get myself up and going early. I need to negotiate with myself and motivate myself to get moving. Took me 30 mintues a.k.a. 3 snoozes to get up.

This is the main reason I know I am not a 9 to 5 person. I like coming into the office and working on my own schedule. Sometimes I like 7 am, sometimes I don't feel like moving till 11 am, and sometimes I just want to stay home and work. Which is why I am in school doing a 2nd masters. I need some flexibility in the future.

*2 thumbs up* for a full night's rest

Jan 19, 2010


I have 2 of these but unfortunately have only had the privilege of being as true a sister as I can be to one.

I love him. He's a gentleman in the true sense of the word. And for the time being he is under my care as much as a 19 year old can be. It's fun having someone who is 8 years my junior parent me - watching what I eat, checking on my exercise schedule, being sure I'm not overly stressed, and being the oh, so necessary wallet watcher (necessary for a broke shopaholic sister lol). Rough around the edges like us all but a great young man...can't wait to see what he does with his life.

no worries sis, your time is a coming *muah*
"There's no other love like the love for a brother. There's no other love like the love from a brother."
Astrid Alauda

being comfortable in my skin

Def a favored life lesson (also very useful one).

This has been one of my harder life lessons but one of the most valuable ones.

I am not perfect (go figure!) and sadly one of my imperfections is that I am by nature a reactionary individual. Add to the pot that I am very sensitive. So this has resulted in me being kind of a push over, caring a little too much what people think and say, and getting offended way more than necessary.

Thankfully, as I have gotten older, I have realized more and more that I don't have to be anyone, or do anything outside of what makes me proud to be Shar. What represents me. If I don't want to do something, I can say no. If I don't agree, I can say so. Who cares what the grain is? I am the one responsible for what I do and say. Who cares if I'm not cool? I am representing me and my name. I am learning not to have an opinion of how people should live their lives (notable exceptions being my siblings and future children) because no one can dictate to me how to live my life. I just try to live my life as honorably as I can, trying to be the best I can be, asking God for guidance and thanking Him for providing me a life full of excellent examples.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending"
Maria Robinson

Jan 15, 2010


...particularly on Fridays

Home away from home

Like, seriously.

Humor me?

Red Bean Ice Cream

Yummo! Made from the azuki bean, it is commonly served at Asian restaurants with or without syrup.

Chippies Banana Chips

It must be from Chippies. No other will do. Product of Jamaica. Can also be found in certain West Indian groceries overseas. Also online.


This yellow delicious scrumciousness hails from the Mulberry family and is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh. It grows in my backyard in rural St. Andrew, Jamaica. It is sweet tasting, with a starchy, fibrous flesh which varies in consistency.

love that chicken from Popeye's

I cannot tell a lie.
This is a Friday evening tradition in our home. Oh! You must use the Cajun sweet and sour sauce.

Anne of Green Gables

The Cuthberts, a couple from Avonlea, that were mistakenly sent an orphan girl instead of a boy yet decided to keep her. Anne is an imaginative, precocious girl who entertains and endears the reader to her...

One of the best things I spent my early teen years doing. A must read for every young girl. I've read the entire series. Somehow along the way, I lost my books. The plan is to replace and reread. Anne taught me of kindred spirits. I've been using that term ever since, proudly aging myself.