Happy 2019!!!

I’m grateful to have walked in this new year with God!! I’m going to trust God and believe in me this year. I’m not going to count me out and take a backseat to what God has for me. He created me to be like Him. His creative ideas, plans are downloaded or will be downloaded in me and I will work on not downplaying, dismissing what God has put on the inside of me. I plan to do the work.

I want to be kinder and find more ways to show love toward others. Not just love through words but love through deeds. I want to be a better supporter of great vision.

I want to share more and more family moments with my children and my parents. I want to dream and watch those dreams come to pass in this year.

My pastor whose a true prophet of God declared that 2019 will be like a dream for those who follow Him. She also reminded us of Jeremiah 29:11 and John 10:10

I’m truly excited and looking forward to what 2019 has in store. I know it won’t all be great. I know there may be some real struggles and tough times but WITH GOD I can, you can, we can do this and celebrate on December 31, 2019 that we made it!!!

I’m claiming that 2019 will be my dream year of unspeakable joy!

I wish you all the joy you can stand this new year!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Merry Christmas from Mississippi!!

What a beautiful day it is in Mississippi! It’s a nice 66 degrees. Although I’d rather it be cooler, it’s nice weather for families and friends to get a football game going outside!

I know everyone is making final preparations for Christmas dinner. Tables are being set. Drinks are cooling. Desserts are in position. Families have long cleaned up the living room from opening gifts. And people have started making their way over to make their rounds of visits (with to-go plates in mind). 🤣

Traditionally, we bake cookies and brownies so we can sit around that evening finishing out our Christmas Day watching the last leg of A Christmas Story (a classic no doubt) and possibly go check out the Christmas lights in neighborhoods. And I usually end the night, with all the lights off except the Christmas tree just to marvel at the glow and ambience it gives off and worship and give thanks to God the Father.

But most important in our house, we take time FIRST as soon as we gather to open presents, we open with prayer. We thank our Father God for giving us His Son JESUS CHRIST. We truly cannot say we are celebrating CHRISTmas without acknowledging Christ. He came to this world so that we may have LIFE and have it more ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10). So we endeavor to live an abundant life for the next 365 days in honor of why He came. And living our life with Christ will help us to live out that plan He has for us.

I look forward to Christmas each year. I truly love this holiday, the winter weather and the warmth that people give off because of the season. Most importantly, I thank God that I have a family that expresses their love towards me as I express mine towards them. Not just during Christmas but all throughout the year.

So HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS NOW from my family to yours!

🥰🥰🥰

45 Vibes

On December 11th, I turned 45 years old! I truly enjoyed the day. I was determined to include the sights of my beloved Mississippi in my special birthday.

Although I’m a southern lady, I really enjoy the walking outside in the early morning in December and taking a fresh, deep breath of the cold, crisp winter air. This Tuesday, December 11th wasn’t any different with the temperature being 27 degrees.

I started the morning taking in one of many pleasantries with a grande Peppermint Mocha (5 pumps of each mocha and peppermint) from Starbucks. Then I took a beautiful ride and noticed, although it wasn’t snowing (which I would’ve loved for my bday), the frost lay on the land like a beautiful white blanket.

The morning sun shone through illuminating the frost on the ground creating a wintry wonderland effect in Mississippi. The trees couldn’t hide the rays of the sun and how she burst through the woods which only connected to my heart and warmed it up. I found myself smiling the whole drive.

Out there, there’s no sound of early morning traffic or children talking at the bus stop. There’s no rush or busyness on the backroads at all. So, I stopped my truck, rolled the window down and listened to the stillness of winter. I closed my eyes to focus on the sound of a limb giving way and falling to the ground, of a bird calling through the air and just when I opened my eyes, a fox dashed across the scenery. I mean like this is the coolest (no pun intended) Birthday morning in a long time.

The most beautiful part of the cold, early morning drive on those backwoods of Mississippi was that time of reflections and the look towards the future. This year more than ever I’m excited about those next 365 days after my birthday. Not long from now 2019 will be here and I’ve been jotting down, planning for what’s to come.

Could I get this experience anywhere else? Couldn’t I have stayed at home to reflect and plan? Well, I could have but spending time with Mississippi’s nature truly brings me inspiration. And as much as she inspires me, my hope is to be able to be just as much of an inspiration to readers by expanding their view of Mississippi. I loved my birthday morning with my beautiful state. I’m looking forward to many more.

Take your posting to voting!

I am a proud graduate of an HBCU whose college’s history indicates the institution being part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail. Whose college motto is “Where History Meets the Future.” With all this historical, Civil Rights empowerment I was taught through those years, there was a time not too long after graduating when I was in my mid-twenties, I made a statement, “I’m not voting! They all liars! And why vote when neither one is worthy of the role!” 🤷🏾‍♀️

I can’t tell you what election it was but I remember feeling all righteous in my statement and prideful in my decision. My high school classmate that witnessed me saying this, looked at me and said, “Teshia, it doesn’t matter that you don’t like these candidates. It’s your duty to vote one way or the other.” Now, intellectually and even inwardly, I knew that. But I was completely fed up with politics at the time and not have viable options of representation. I was full of myself yet at the same time, the disappointment in my classmate’s voice towards me, let me know before that statement how much my classmate respected me and after that statement how that respect lessened. I was grieved and shame yet kept it to myself. 🤦🏾‍♀️

I can tell you there have been plenty of times during those years and in my early thirties, I belittled an election, not going to the polls because I didn’t take the election serious based on what it was or what position it was. Or I would wait and vote in the “big election.” Keeping quiet, never complaining. But, I voted every presidential, mayoral, governor, city council election yet I discounted the smaller elections. But going through my thirties I had to finally said to myself, “YOU STUPID!!” 🥴

Every election counts. Every election involves you personally. If you don’t think so then you can’t say you’re part of a community. What may not affect you directly may affect your neighbor, children, schools and that in turn affects you. We’re living life on earth together and we can’t afford to be selfish in our thinking especially when we want to live peaceably together.

So, I could no longer say I was a proud graduate of Tougaloo College where Fannie Lou Hamer, Founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and received her honorary doctoral degree from Tougaloo College; where Tougaloo’s chaplain, William Albert Bender unsuccessfully attempted to vote in 1946 with following a cross was burned on the campus, and not honor this legacy and path that had been laid out before me to keep walking on and making the voice of my rights be heard.

Why am I sharing this? Because I was ignorant during those young years that are considered “the millennial years” in today’s time. Frustrated at my selections and not taking into account the duty I had and the trail that was blazed for me with burning crosses and strange fruit hanging from trees along the way…for me. Millennials, this social media expression of political opinions means nothing but that you know how to use your words craftily and somehow you have an opinion and can share it and draw a crowd of followers. Well, tell ya crowd to follow you to the polls today, November 6, 2018. Don’t sit around and post about it. Vote about it. Don’t keep your opinions behind these electronic devices. Go to the voting device at the polls and make your opinion known there.

Choose even if you’re frustrated. Make a choice. If you hadn’t paid attention to the candidates, get online and do your research. One of these candidates will have more of what you stand for than the other. Choose. Even if you don’t feel like it, go to the polls today and make a choice. VOTE! We’re not ignorant of politics in today’s time because of the blatant disrespect of our HUMAN BEINGS is being displayed in the White House and it doesn’t matter what your color is.

Make it a priority in this mid-term election to go vote for these judges, senators, House of Representatives, governors, etc. because it affects you, your parents, your children, your bestie, your job, the livelihood of you and your neighbors. So today and every election following, vote your conscious not your pride.

GO VOTE 🗳!!!

🗣SUPER TREEE! Transform into a…..

On the backroads of Mississippi, you find nature, untouched, unbothered. And I don’t know why but over the years, I became super fascinated with big trees like this you see in the photo. I love the way the branches and the leaves sprawl out creating an umbrella ☂ affect. Can you say shade on a sunny day in April as this one?!

Believe it or not, Mississippi had just experienced a longer winter than usual and on this day the sun was fighting for its position to warm the Mississippi atmosphere. I got off the bi-scenic route a little and passed by this tree and had to get a shot. But I noticed, it wasn’t giving me full, fluffy branches of leaves. And that’s where my fascination of trees I think come in….the intriguing process of trees seasonal transformation.

Year after year and season after season that I’ve traveled these roads, I’ve had the most satisfying opportunity to experience what nature looks like when seasons make their transition. And watching a great big tree 🌳 go through its process is most amazing. On this picture, the leaves were making a return to life on the branch. In a few short weeks, it would be full of green enjoying the summer sun. I love the beauty of a big tree standing proudly on its own with leaves blowing like a cape on a superhero protecting the ground from the evil burn villain…the sun! But I noticed something this year in August that was quite odd.

One of my favorite roads on he bi-scenic route of Mississippi is full of trees on either side of you. Their branches hang over the road creating a tunnel of shade and just enough light. And on this breezy, hot August morning as l drove down “my road,” it was as if a bride and groom were walking out of a church ceremony with celebratory rice showering them. That’s how the leaves greeted my truck and me. We were the bride and groom and crimson and orange leaves were coming off the trees in masses of love and celebration of our arrival outside. But 🗣HOLD UP! 🗣WAIT A MINUTE! This is beautiful and all…but isn’t this hot August in MS? Where these leaves going?

These big super trees aligning the road had given way and were releasing their leaves..to me…a wee bit early for Mississippi in the heart of the summer. As if I wasn’t already excited by being serenaded in such a way but all of a sudden I realized fall-like leaves 🍁 dropping from branches were indicating a possible early fall. 👏🏾👏🏾

Want to know the gossip of what’s happening in Mississippi weather? The trees got the tea 🍵 🐸. They can’t hold leaves. So in early September this year, all around my the bi-scenic route you see super trees like the one in the pic, “baring” its soul and core to the world because it’s stripped of its natural clothing. 🍂 And here we are less than 10 days from November in this transformation, and in some areas, you can see straight through the forest….rows and rows of trees that go miles and miles beyond the road…bare. I’m telling you this is not usual. In Mississippi, nature in the fall still looks like the summer all green and trees still full bloom.

It’s a beautiful journey to take with the super trees. If you don’t pay attention (which most of us don’t), you’ll miss this simplicity of nature. Nature is an indication of life. It’s a life other than your own that Mississippi presents so beautifully to enjoy. Taking time to slow down and partake in it is one of the joys of my life. Enjoy natural life wherever you are. Look up at the trees. If you pay attention, they’ll give you the exclusive on what’s happening next.

I’m A City Girl (I think)

I know everyone thinks of Mississippi as nothing but country living in every inch of the state. And the truth is there are only about 10 (if that) towns that are really “big city” living with tall buildings, malls, offices, highways. I’m from the capital, Jackson, MS and there’s no sign of country living here. I was born in 1973 and my uncle lived in the small town of Flora, MS and that’s how I got to experience most of the country lifestyle. Every now and then, I would travel with relatives to other relatives homes in the country. But as for me, I lived in a subdivision in the north part of Jackson. Even my grandmothers lived in homes close to downtown Jackson (although I knew they grew up in small country towns) where all the city life was booming back then.

So, as I grew up, I never had an interest in camping outdoors, living in the country because as a city girl, I didn’t grow up around wildlife and I was afraid of even domestic animals such as dogs and cats (trust…I still am). LOL! Of course, I went camping with the Girl Scouts where we stayed in clean cabins and with nice community showers in the mid 80s but I was always ready to get back to the luxury of my bedroom (especially since I was an only child and my room as all to myself..LOL)!

When we first moved to North Jackson, there weren’t many subdivisions. My mom would put me, her sister, my cousin and my maternal grandmother in the car and we would drive pass my neighborhood. BOY DID I THINK WE WERE GOING SOMEWHERE FAR! lol. And my maternal grandmother, Mama Nancy, would say we lived in the county because passed our neighborhood was nothing but woods. We’d traveled to Ridgeland, MS which is on the outskirts of Jackson and before one of the major malls of the the state was built there it was a woody area. I think that’s where my love for traveling roads all began. It started with those little rides through the backwoods (who knew major development was on the way of malls and more subdivisions in the late 80s/early 90s).

I noticed throughout my life, I longed to get on a road and drive. And my driving would just consist of me getting down a highway by myself and going as far as the end of MS and turn around! HA! The roads brought me peace. But when I discovered the connection of The Ross Barnett Resevoir to the backroads of Mississippi, I could feel my inquisitive only child juices bubbling. What’s back here? I’d crank up the car and go. I had a keen since of direction so I knew I would always know how to get back to where I started which would lead to home. And on those drives, I discovered back behind these major cities was the peace of country living, I’d said I would never want to experience.

Something about getting older makes everything within you want to slow down and be set apart with just you and your family until you decide to be amongst others. My travels took me by farms, ranches with cows roaming, goats hopping, ducks landing in ponds, frogs croaking. And in the winter, I had a special spot I would go just to sit and roll my window down and sniff in the crisp air if it was a cool day in Mississippi. In the country, it’s quite quiet and peaceful so what you’d hear were birds having a conversation and the cracking of limbs falling from high distances hitting the ground below. I felt so at home.

What?!?! Am I saying I like it out here? Can I live the rest of my middle age and latter years in the country. WAIT!! Get a hold of yourself, Teshia. You’re a city girl! But it was this day a few years ago I took this photo, in this little creek on a fall day in Mississippi I said, I could get used to this.

I took this photo with my iphone camera. I didn’t build this little stone pillar I found in the creek but it showed me that someone else had been here enjoying this type of living also. I stood there and with nothing else around me all I could hear was the running water of this creek. Here I stood a woman afraid of all wildlife, including snakes, lizards, frogs…..sensing peace fill my soul. The trees shielding the sun in all the right places of the creek in the center of the woods but the leaves allowing just enough sun to hit the ground in all the right places. And, all my childhood giddiness overtook me as I removed my shoes and walked the creek with my bare feet. I was enjoying life where I was standing and I asked God, how can I live like this everyday. What is my purpose in life that can have me right here where I can be free to get to this happy place in my soul anytime I needed to? I didn’t wait for the answer from Him but I’ll revisit the question soon.

Yeah…I am a city girl but somewhere in a not so deep place anymore inside of me, I want to be in the country sitting on my porch watching deer passing by with baby deer following close behind Mama Deer. Walking through trails already worn out from previous travelers. Starting a fire in the night and witnessing the night as it approaches the earth. And, I want all of this to happen with no snakes, lizards, dogs, cats, foxes, bugs, umm, umm, let me think, wild boar (maybe they’re not here in MS)…but this is my dream! LOLOL!!! I think if God can make this happen, I can be a country girl here pretty soon! At any rate, I love my state and that it’s teaching me more and more how to be in love with her…yeah…even the country side of her.

I Never Wanted This!!

I NEVER WANTED THIS!!! I didn’t want to be natural! I accidently grew my natural hair out!!

This……this is a story of a Mississippi girl and her hair. Mississippi weather…for all women….no matter her race…is the worst. But when you’re a Black woman trying to battle humidity, you’re likely to encounter the fluff of cotton candy on top of the noggin. It’s rather disturbing.  Thank goodness for chemical relaxers or otherwise known as perms. Now…perms for white women and black women are different. The chemicals in “perms” for Black women are meant to “relax” the roots of the hair and straighten the hair for a manageable, more silky look.

Yeah….a relaxer….the best thing to happen to me.  And to be honest, when I was growing up in the late 70s/early 80s, this was the only type of hair I saw on television that didn’t tangle and moved like rolling water flowing from a spring off the scenic Old Port Gibson Rd. And all the women in my community were sitting in a chair on a hot Saturday getting their hair straightened via hot comb or a relaxer. So, of course, I wanted my hair relaxed.

All I ever knew about my hair as a young girl was that when my mom washed it, it seemed hard to detangle and I was very tender headed. And I knew there was a difference in the texture of my hair and the texture of my maternal grandmother’s hair whose you could comb through with no struggle. But that wasn’t my hair. My hair needed detangling, straightening and assistance of curlers to curl my hair. So the day a relaxer touch my roots was a blessed event.

I went 36 years with the mentality that I needed my hair relaxed because my hair was nappy. However, in the past several years, Black women have been wearing their hair in its natural state. In the quest for healthier living, Black women have been removing the process of applying harsh chemicals to their hair and boldly displaying styles of their natural hair…curly, coily, wavy, coarse. Social media has been documenting it all and Black women have shared their experiences and I’ve watched with pride in my culture and swore…….”I’m never going natural. I love the ‘creamy crack’ (as coined it in the movie Beauty Shop).”

Well, I watched my daughter start her process of allowing her hair to grow the chemical relaxer out. It took about a year and her wavy natural hair came through. Meanwhile, I was having an AWFUL time with my hair during that same year. I had worn hair styles with hair extensions sewn in for about 3 years prior which meant my real hair stayed braided all the time. And believe me I kept the relaxer in while wearing the sew in styles. But, what I discovered about my hair after not doing sew ins any longer, my hair wouldn’t straighten like it used to when relaxed. What the heck was going on?! I needed my roots not to remain wavy but to straighten like it used to. So, during this same year my daughter was growing hers out, I cut my hair into a super short style out of frustration.

GREAT!! My hair is cut and my hair has always look sharp with a relaxed short hair cut. I’ve solved the issue with my hair….cut really short in the back. chemically relaxed and slicked down. YES!!!! So, why hours later upon receiving a relaxer, the back of my really short, relaxed, slicked hair was curling up? At my next hair appointment, I explained what was happening and I asked my hair stylist to please shave it down lower in the back. Let’s try this again. So, why was the back of my even shorter, slicked, relaxed hair curling up in the back? What’s really happening? The more this happened and the more the roots of my hair would not straighten and begin to puff in the top of my head and curl in the back of my head in a matter of days from being relaxed, I had to come up with a plan. AH-HA!!! Back to sew-ins!!!!

For six months, I wore what we call protective styles. Crocheting hair in and wearing sewn in hair. I really don’t know what my plan was for my hair while I wore the protective styles. I just knew I was frustrated with how my hair was reacting and I didn’t have a clue what was going on neither did my hairstylist have an explanation. While I wore the protective styles, the back of my hair grew out and amazingly, it was growing out CURLY underneath the long sewn in extensions!! What the what?! And, when I took my sew-in out, the rest of my hair had grown so much, there was only about 3 inches of chemical relaxer left. Uuuuhhh…sooooo….I CUT IT OFF!! Yes! I cut the rest of the relaxed hair off!

I NEVER WANTED THIS!!! I didn’t want to be natural! I accidently grew my natural hair out!! But, what was super surprising was after I shampooed and conditioned the natural state of my hair, this coily and curly hair texture was there. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! MY HAIR AIN’T NAPPY!! Who would’ve thunk it!! So with the awesome encouragement of a great daughter who went to cosmetology school and her classmate who’s a great cosmetologist in a salon, I’m finally going to embrace my natural hair with a curl definition to help my natural curl pattern along and a bold new cut and color.

What’s the moral to this long story? Never say what ya not gone do! LOL! Like all things in life, things change. My hair texture when I was a young girl could have NEVER withstood this Mississippi heat and humidity without the help of a chemical relaxer wearing the styles I wanted to wear. Not even in this year, 2018, did I want to be this girl with the natural beautiful curl pattern in this pic. But, now, she is my inspiration and my hair is different and in its natural state, I’m willing to see what bold new adventures my hair and me can get into as we go about traveling down these roads documenting Mississippi in its natural state.

It’s Fall in Mississippi where things definitely do change like the color on the leaves and looks like the color on my hair too. It’s time for the new, new! So, let’s do it!