Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Drop Off

It took me some time, but I have finally made the "drop off". I know, it sounds like I made a run for the street pharmaceutical man, delivering the oooh wee...the candy...the snow...the dope...etc. However, that is not the case. I actually made a drop off of another kind, but do want to address the drop off spoken about above...if I may, briefly.

I watched "American Gangsta" the other week. The movie was long, but it kind of warmed my heart in the end. Again, I don't condone that behavior (he could have put his savvy intelligence to work for good from jump), but it offered hope to those that are involved in the game (often times who sadly know no better). The main character Frank Lucas was a natural leader, intellectual, and a go getter. He was calm about his business...low key and never flashy. He managed to come up with what I would dare to say was an excellent business plan. It was so savvy that at the height of his career, his per diem was approximately one million. His reign lasted for a minute, and would have lasted even longer had those that were working with him (his family) had the preservation of the business in mind. He ended up helping out the leader of the narc unit on the case and getting off with somewhere between 9 and 15 years in the slammer. He came out and now lives what is seen as a somewhat normal life. In his own words he is doing the following:

Lucas: I do whatever I got to do. I'm putting things together, trying to
build a facility where kids can go play ball and whatever. I'm waiting on the
mayor right now to get another space to go ahead and do that. I got some help on
the way, and I want to try to put that to use. I'm working with my daughter,
Francine. ... I'm getting some finances lined up now so I can do it. I want to
be remembered for helping these kids. If I can get them to follow what I ask
them to do, I'll be happy.

The story spoke volumes to me. It proved to me the following:

-There are cases where people go to jail, come out and can live decent lives.
-One can fall down, but the mark of a true man (or woman) is one that can get up from their mistake and turn it into something wonderful for others.
-In life, we give to get and get to give.
-Sometimes those who strive to look out for self, end up looking out for you too.
-Once we've waddled in the mud, it is our duty to see that those around us avoid getting dirty the way we did.

I just needed to get that off my chest. I have folk (as Mr. Stephens over at rawdawgb would say) on lock down for various reasons, and I need them to know that they can make it. It is never too long as there is breath in your body to turn over a new leaf. Now into...My Drop Off!

I am officially featured in the
Elle Bee Studio store
in Manasquan, NJ.
I took the items on Friday, and had the pleasure of meeting the store owner...who was a gem. She is a jeweler herself and liked the goods. There is nothing better than knowing that another artist likes your work. The shop is about a mile from the beach, and there is a bead store around the corner that is like a beaders heaven. And it doesn't stop there folks. My sister traveled with me (thanks Kiwi) and wanted to eat at this restaurant we passed. We stopped in there and asked for a menu. It turned out not to be the restaurant that we were looking for, but it worked out to my benefit anyhow. We started to chit chat with the woman that greeted us. I told her why we were in Manasquan and she stated that the restaurant was looking to possibly have jewelry classes on Thursday night for their ladies night. Now, the store is about an hour and fifteen minutes from my home, and in all seriousness it may cost me more to get down there than what they would pay me for the class. However, I am a firm believer that God always makes provisions for the vision that He has put in motion. Things will go the way that He desires them to.
So people, there you have it! There will be much more on the horizon for sure. And on another note, I am extremely grateful today that I have lived to see my 29th year today. God is real yall! If you don't know, please ask, and I will surely let you know. The fact that I am alive and have the use of my limbs to explore the gifts that God has given me, is a beautiful thing.
Thank you JESUS!
Pearls of Wisdom:
Do what you do best. To do someone else never serves you or others justice.
Be Blessed!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An "I Wonder..." Day

Have you ever had an "I wonder..." day? I wonder how I got here, but I'm glad that I'm here or I wonder how I got here, but I've got no clue how to get out? I've been on both ends of the stick, but within the last couple of days, it seemed to be the later of the two scenarios.

The great things:
I have taught my first jewelry beading class. It went smashingly well. It was a private lesson and the woman was so pleased that she is scheduling another class. She made a pair of drop earrings that she allowed her daughter to wear out of the store. They looked great! I will hopefully have some pics of my students work to put here a little later.

I have recently joined a photography website. The people have been very welcoming thus far. I look forward to posting my work there for some feedback, and being able to identify photography contests that are legit for me to enter.

I jazzed up my studio a bit. I hung lots of some previous prints that I have done in order to inspire me while I am there. It's a space that I feel real comfy going to now. Before, I had no choice...I had to do my work somewhere. However, now...I am sort of elated to be able to get down there to work.

The "I wonder how I got here, and what do I do":
Lots of thought have gone into the things below.

I took my car to the dealership yesterday for them to check out my breaks and tire rods. I asked for an oil change and a 25 point inspection. They came back stating that they could do none of the above. Why? The nut or bolt (or whatever you choose to call it) is stuck; the pan cannot be emptied. It seems the thread is stripped. That means that they have to replace the whole pan. The cost of that is roughly 1,200 dollars. I laughed when they told me. I thought it was hilarious, as I just paid 1,200 in February to fix some computer issues so that it could pass inspection. Oh, and it doesn't stop there folks. As I went to the back to check out the screw that could not be unscrewed, the mechanic pointed something else out. The piece that you take down to get to the oil pan that is supposed to be held by bolts, is held by ties. Yes people...TIES! You know the plastic devices that hold items down in stores in hopes that thieves don't walk away with items that are not theirs....kind of ties. I felt like hitting the deck at that point. It was only God (and the woman that was gracious enough to pray with me) that allowed me to walk out of that place with my head up. As I got home I did my research and found out that my car had never had an oil change. The last place just topped the oil off, which just reinforced that I was ripped off by the place I bought the car from. I started to think about all the things I could do to their establishment. How I could give them bad press if I wanted too. How I could go and picket in front of their store. As I thought, I was reminded that cheaters never prosper. I was reminded that they don't get to get my joy. I was reminded that there are wicked folks here on earth and there will always be. I was reminded I am not fighting that particular person, but a spirit that lives within them. Bottom line....they aren't worth my aggravation! I will ride Dayton (my car) until I can't ride him any longer. And I have a feeling that will be a long time...or at least I pray so.

I am faced with yet another decision as far as my job goes, which has really been a blessing. There is a possibility that my current part-time position will go full-time. It may not be within the next couple of months, but then again it may. Things on the art end are going well, but have not opened up enough to completely stop working as of yet. However, I do need a position such as the one that I have that offers me some flexibility to do my thing. I have to be honest and say that after weeks of thinking about this, I am not too worried. I know the God that I serve has
provided for me thus far, will continue to do so. Nerve racking....maybe. Impossible....NEVER!

So there you have it folks. The things that make me say "hmmmm". The things that just cause me to wonder. There are a few other things that I could ramble about, but let us just say that I am making my way to greener pastures. The season is about to change in a couple of days, and I am believing that there are great changes occurring for me around the bend.

Pearls of Wisdom:
Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world."
-Ada Lewis Huxtable

Be Blessed!

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Wig is Blown

Yesterday the Lord officially "blew my wig back". The "blowing back of the wig" is a statement that I have adopted from a wonderful woman of God that I call a best friend and sister. It means that you were surprised beyond essence, your socks were knocked off. And yesterday, all of that happened. I am extremely thankful. I am thankful beyond what words can express.

I had a meeting for my job as a program manager and that went well. I spotted a friend that I had not seen since starting my new position. I went to a beading supply store that I didn't have any intention of going into before the moment I stepped in the door.

The result from these seemingly insignificant occurrences:
-I have a better understanding of how to move forward with the program that I am helping to run.
-The friend that I ran into is in the position to introduce me to a gallery owner this evening at "First Fridays" (a night of gallery openings in the city that happens every 1st Friday of each month).
-The offer has been extended for me to teach a jewelry beading class...and yes, I have accepted!
So you all...these are indeed baby steps. However, I understand the monstrous presence that a baby step holds. Baby steps grow to be adult characteristics and habits. What a wonderful thing to know that these baby steps and those to come are all designed to make me the woman that God desires for me to be now and in the future.

Pearls of Wisdom:
When upon life's billows you are tepest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev'ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high
So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done
-Johnson Oatman Jr.
Be Blessed!