Saturday, November 29, 2008


I survived Black Friday.

I dunno why they call it Black Friday cuz I was the ONLY black person out there at least in the line I was in. This year was the first time I participated in the tradition called Black Friday. I've heard horror stories about the madness to being out in the freezing cold in a line that goes down to the corner around the block and into the next county all in hopes of getting that $9,000. electronic-gadget-whachama-whozit-thingy on sale for $9.95!you're the 175th person in line and the store only has 8 of them but you are hopeful, it's Christmas time!

My brother survived Black Friday 2007 and coached me on all the ropes as to what I should and should not do and how to prepare. He gave me 1 bit of troubling information: "You should probably camp out in line the night before starting at about 6pm Thanksgiving Day." What the...?

Now that I think about it, it wasn't that troubling, I'm always up for an adventure. I do so LOVE camping and hadn't had the chance to go all summer. My only concern was the cold. I have a low cold tolerance and it was supposed to be 29 degrees with a 10% chance of rain

Out of the mouth of my best friend "WJ".... "I can be wet or I can be cold, but I CANNOT be wet AND cold." I love winter but my body doesn't. I break out in hives if I get too cold even if it's summer and the lake water is nice and cold. Well I decided I was going to do this, so I needed to be prepared. My biggest challege would be lack of sleep. I only slept about 3 hours the night before Thanksgiving and I started the week with a head cold and sinusitis. AUGH!

My day went very quickly on Thanksgiving, next thing I knew it was 3:00 and we were eating. Well they were eating, I sampled so much while I was cooking I wasn't hungry so I cleaned up the kitchen a bit. Next thing I knew it was 5:00 and I wanted to be in line by 6pm, 7 at the latest. I had arranged to go down in line with a friend, she and I wanted the same items. I also had a 2nd friend who was interested in the item. But his history is one of being flakey so we didn't really plan on him. about 5:30 I layed down to take a power nap and slept for about 30 min. 6:00 came I put on a layer of long underwear, sock, a thermal undershirt, a sweat hoodie, a fleece hoodie my Michigan beanie and a pair of fabulous boots I'd purchased a couple weeks before. I grabbed one of the 4 tents I own, a lawn chair, sleeping bag, personal dvd player, cold meds, herbal remedies, packed them in a cooler with water and some food to munch on and headed off to get in line

My store of choice:

BEST BUY. My gadget of choice an HP laptop! Normally $616 on sale for $349. But wait, there's more! There's always more! They've added a Canon 3 in 1 Printer/Scanner/Copier for free! Nope, no joking. I'm starting a small business and need a lap top as part of the business will require me to do presentations from a laptop. This lap top was plan "A." There were too other lap tops that would serve as plan B and C however they were a couple hundred more than I wanted to spend even at their great prices.

I got there a little later than expected, just around 6:30. I pull into the parking lot and there was a camper and a few cars, not too many. There were 3 tents set up already with people I learned later who had been camping out since Wednesday. There were a group of teenagers playing basket ball. Someone brought a hoop and set it up in the parking lot. And there was a card table with a group around it playing poker.

The line wasn't too bad there were about 40 people ahead of me, counting all their children. There was a nip in the air already. I parked my car grabbed my gear and headed toward the back of line and got there just ahead of a couple of guys who also had a tent and some other gear. I started putting up the tent when Erin arrived with her gear as well. I got a little frustrated because my phone began to ring for what felt like non-stop for about 45 minutes. Suddenly friends and family were calling and wanting to know if I could get them this or that so they wouldnt have to be in line all night. I got hightly irritated:I was gonna be out in the cold all night with no sleep, being sick, had sprained my MCL early August and still use a knee brace for it, AND at midnight it would be my birthday. None of those who wanted anything offered to come and hang out, keep us company, bring a hot drink, extra blanket or quick snack. I probably wouldn't have minded so much if they weren't so expectant to reap the rewards of our effort and not even give regnition to the effort.

I think I was mostly irritated because I chose to keep answering my phone in the midst of putting up a tent and the wind was biting. I told the 2 guys in front of me I was going to have them answer my phone for me while I tried to put up the tent.

Although my house was just under 5 miles away. My Sister and our friend Travis offered to keep us company and be on call to bring provisions. They bought us a pitcher of hot water for our thermoses of hot chocolate. They also brought extra sleeping bags. My daughter who also volunteered to be on call came and brought some things as well.

Lyn & Erin

She came a few minutes after I did with a 2nd camping chair and 2 thermoses for hot liquids. She left rather quickly as she would be the one mainly on call throughout the night so she was going to catch some winks.

Well the night actually went by Very quickly, at least for me. After Erin arrived and we get the tent set up we were ready for the long haul! Erin broughtknitting, a book to read, Peach pie and her army cot. I had crocheting, and grabbed the couple of things to put in my cooler for dinner.

About 9 or so I had my sister Lyn and our friend Travis bring my personal DVD Player and the 2 latest Harry Potter episodes. They also brought some boiling water so we could delve into the can of hot chocolate Erin had. When it got too cold we lined the tent with our blankets and sleeping bags, crawled inside and is was so comfy and warm! Danielle stopped by and hung out for a few. We were laughing and talking I don't think I would have been too much more comfortable at home!

Dannielle & Travis

They guys in the tent behind us had a heater and we could hear them watching episodes of home improvement and I think they had some Grease or some Grease parody going on. Since our tents were pretty much sharing the same area we could hear them quite well. We decided they were pretty cool and even funny as we overheard some of their conversations (sorry guys!)
The Y'z Guyz

We labled them the Y'z Guy'z cuz they had on beanies from BYU. I made sure my Michigan beanie and blanket were in full display. They Y'z guyz started out with just 2 of them .I think they were brothers. Their group would later turn into 4 and I think "Dad" was one of the 4. I took a picture of them because Erin was trying to get a pic of them with their camera but it didnt work so I offered to take it and email it to them.

My Heroes

Our friends Jason was supposed to be camping out with his wife and kids at a Sears the next county south of ours so we were communicating back and forth via text/cellphones. They wanted a frontload washer dryer combination on bargain for 599$. About 11 or so, He called me and asked my whereabouts.out side the tents. So he came on is a well. With the hot chocolate and the conversation we were all quite warm. For me it hadn't felt like we had already been out there 6 hours. I figured he was just curious to see if I had given up. Suddenly I'm hearing him in Stereo. Jason

and he's outside my tent. He came up just to hang out for the night and possibly see what deal he could find on this end of the vally. With the hot chocolate and the conversation we were all quite warm. For me it hadn't felt like we had already been out there 6 hours. Danielle left early because she had work at the bank Friday Morning. She left Erin and I with "Toastie Tootsies." They're air activated foot warmers you stick in your shoes. Lyn left with the hot water and a thermos that broke, luckily travis had a spare thermos we could use. Jason had his wife and kids tucked in the car out of the elements. He decided to hang out 3 stores down and Jump in the Target line while there were only 7 people in it. Erin and I settled in and started watching Harry Potter 4.

I had dozed off and Erin was waking me because the there was a shift in the line so we needed to move our gear forward to keep our place.

In front of us were a couple of cute high school boys. They only had camping chairs and a few blankets. I liked them, the were well behaved and were asking us most of the night if we needed help with anything . We watched their stuff while they took their breaks or left the line.

I gave one of my toastie tootsies to one of them. He had on a sweatshirt and a couple of blankets and he mostly jammed to his music on his mp3 all night long.


The other was more social. He made pals with some of the kids at the front of the line playing basket ball and poker. He even helped calm down a situation with another wasted kid that could have gotten pretty ugly. He took him for a walk in the parking lot to cool him down. I was impressed with both of these young men. In my mind I refer to them as dimples and the peace maker!

Peace Maker

Just before handing the tickets out The manager came out and explained how things work. We were intructed to put all of our tents and cots and other big items away so things would flow easier.

About 3 or so the line started getting restlest. What happens is the managers and staff come out with tickets for the doorbuster items. They start at the beginning of the line and ask who wants a ticket for "such and such " item. And they continue down the line until all the tickets are gone. So the folks at the end of the line have like ZIPPO chance of getting a ticket for the item they want. Sad thing is you can't purchase "such and such" item at the bargain cost without a ticket.

The jackasses at the front of the line get tickets for everything and then try to sell the tickets to the folks at the front of the line. I call it greedy and selfish. Im sure they call it the American way. Some guy started his ticket selling at $40 bucks. The ameture teenies were selling theres for $5 and $10. I had plan A-C. If what I really wanted ran out of tickets before it got to myself and Eric, then we would upgrade to the next lap top or the next one. Then we decided if nothing else we could purchase items at the gargain cost and cell them on Ebay so the night wouldn't be a total loss. For me it was a great experience anyway so no total lost. There were tickets for Xboxes, Wii's, Desk tops for $500, Laptops for 300, Digital camera's for $60... you get the picture. And these are GOOD items, not no name items.

TheYz Guyz helped us move our tent earlier and also helped us break it down and kept our place in line as we packed our gear and took it back to our car.

It began to rain and get windy after the tents were all put away. OF COURSE! I was still pretty warm. I actually didn't get chilly til about 30 min before the door was opened and at that point I still wasn't uncomfortable.

Erin and I had tickets for our option B and C. About 20 min before the doors were to open up some guy sold his stack of tickets for $8. I guess people got start and quit buying them so the people at the end of the line were stuck with a bunch of tickets no one was really buying after a while and when it got wet and windy they just wanted to go home or get comfortable instead of trying to pan handle money in the cold and rain. One of the Y'z Guyz bought the stack. There was probably 25 tickets. They were able to get the tickets they needed for what they wanted. Then they had Erin and I go through and there were 2 ticket for our Plan A item! Can I just tell you I LOVE THE Y'Z GUYZ? And when they got what they needed they didn't sell the rest of the tickets they gave them away. I also gave away my Plan B and C tickets to the folks at the back of the line.

Now it was just a matter of going in, getting the gear and getting home. Sounds easy enough right?

WRONG! When you walk in, there are colored arrows on the floor. If your ticket is blue, you follow the blue arrows, if it's green you follow the green arrows. I asked for the yellow brick road and ended up in the purple line. Sadly enough there was no cheese at the end of the maze either

The purple line was the line for all Computers. Erin was toward the front of the line but came back to stand with me. We were STILL relatively at the front of the line which masqueraded like a carnival ride at Six Flags, Lagoon, Cedar Point or some other amusement park. This is how the line was looking behind me. You can't see much of it because it bends, twists and turns like the snake river.

This was the purple line for the computers. They had some sort of S.L.O.W system going on. I got home about 6:45-ish. The doors opened at 5 so that was being in line almost 2 hours after camping out 11 hours. I didn't really get tired until I got home and fixed a plate of Thanksgiving dinner from the night before. Then I crashed until just before Noon.

My "sista" was calling to tell me her daughter was in labor and they hadn't figured the baby to be born on MY Birthday. In my slumbering I had forgotten it was my birthday! I was born on my cousin Paul Warfield's birthday. (yeah, the one who played in the 1972 Miami Dolphins championship). My Nephew Devan was born on my birthday 15 years ago :)

And yesterday Amari was born on Devan's birthday. I know, my family is calling me greedy and selfish claming all the kids on my day.

For the most part I thoroughly enjoyed myself out there in the Parking Lot of Best Buy. It was a fun experience. Today I'm mostly in bed resting hoping I can run this cold outta me by the end of the weekend and catching up on sleep. But if ever I feel the need to venture into the World of Black Friday door busters, although the best things can't be bought, I'd do it again.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah, I'm cheating! This is a repost from last year. Many of you enjoyed it and some of you have never read it. Anyway, if you want to read a different message then you can find it posted on my other blog which actually kind of goes hand in hand with this post:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Each day is another year gone by and each year is another landmark in our lives.We focus on certain land marks such as births, deaths, anniversaries and other various events with monumental meaning, forgetting the greatness of each day.

When I wake up do I look around and focus on what’s right in my life or what’s wrong? Have I piled up walls around me of the bad and negative things and imprisioned myself by it each day? Have I given in to Lucifer’s invitation to anger, depression, hopelessness, contention, pride, and sadness or have I chosen to surround myself with the goodness and positives that encourage my own goodness, hope, joy and love?

The sun rises and sets each day, regardless if I see it or not. Some days the Sun’s rays are blocked by heaven’s clouds and some days the Sun’s rays are blocked by my own clouds. Recently I’ve found strength in know that although there are days I may not see the sun and it‘s light , or feel it’s warmth, I KNOW the sun is there. Sometimes its minutes before the sun appears and sometimes its days. But I know its’ there and soon I will see it’s brightness and feel it’s warmth. I only need to be patient and wait. While I wait, I do those things that keep me patient until I can see the light and feel the warmth of the sun again: I wear warm clothing to protect me from the cold. I use lights and other things to help me see and to guide my way throughout the day so the visual absence of the sun doesn’t hinder my everyday life. Doing these things gives me comfort, patience, peace, love and it sustains me.

Each day by focusing on the things that give me comfort, peace and love it seems to attract and increase more of those things. (Is this what is meant by “The Law of Attraction?”) And those things of a negative, depressing nature seem to fade. And it’s not that they really disappear, they just sort of fade away to a point where their importance has diminished greatly and they become easier and less tedious to deal with. I’m anxious to deal with them so those things can be replaced with something more positive.

Take some time this Thanksgiving to think about those things that give you patience, peace and love. Seek them out daily to sustain you, until the sun begins to shine again in your life. You may not always feel it, you may not always see it, but know that the sun is ALWAYS there. There are always things to be grateful for each day and focusing on them will create even more things to be grateful for each day. I promise :)

Homework: Find my playlist and pause it. Now go back and reread this and replace the meaning of "The Sun" with "THE Son"

And have a BEAUTIFUL Day and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Having A Moment!


I usually would not put an entry like this on my Religion page. But today, I'm going to break protocol and share with you some of what I'm feeling right now.

If you've come here to find out who I voted for, you can leave now. My mama don't even know who I voted for. She always told me that knowledge was between me and Heavenly Father and I've yet to disclose it to any one. I will say I flipped the switch this time and went outside my norm. I'll also say that my family (parents, daughter, siblings) were very divided and we most likely cancelled each other out.
That being said, I want to say I'm very disappointed in the attitude of some people I've been hearing the last 24 hours.
Let me share some quotes:

"all I've heard from the black communities is.. first black president. None of them have even mentioned that issues..."
"blacks only voted for another black person, not the best candidate"
"this is the most blatant act of racism america has seen"
"what is this, the second emancipation?" "c'mon america I thought this was not about race..."

This historical elections WAS indeed about race. And about economy, and education, and gender biases, and wars and rumors of wars.... IT'S POLITICAL so of course it's going to be about all these things.

It's not like all the black folk called each other and said..."Vote for Obama and then lets seduce a bunch of white people into changing their minds so our evil plan for black power is now in the works."

People TODAY I am having a Moment!
In this moment I feel the slave generations of my family and their weariness of working sun up to sun down in the heat soaked cotton and tobacco fields of the south.

I feel their joy with their greatest hope of succes was to simply be able to serve in the "big house" instead of in the fields.

I feel the pain of those who were struck hundreds of times by "massa's whip!"

I feel the fear of waking each day not knowing if today was the day that your 15 year old son would be sold off to some plantation 50 miles away to pay off a debt or if your 18 year old daughter would be chosen as a breeder to supply massa with more slave children to increase his personal wealth.
I feel the hope of and dreams of running away on that underground railroad to find freedom.

I feel the anxiousness of those who fleed the south to join the civil ward in the fight for freedoms that would not come to completeness until longer after they have passed and gone home to glory.

I feel their pride and joy
in being a needed force to be reaconed and risking their lives to save those they served with in world wars as allies and country men, only to return to their own country and continue to suffer through the wars on racism and on equal rights. I feel their frustration in wanting their children to have an opportunity for the best education in universities and colleges regardless of skin color.
I feel their aching backs and tired and blistered feet as they walk for hours and sometimes days just to be able to have a voice in equality, only to be met with opposition, humilitation and in many cases death.

I feel their horror in gathering to go to choir practice or Wednesday night Church prayer meeting and instead of feeling the Burning Spirit of the Lord, Seeing a burning cross in front of their burning church.

I feel the years and years of training and exhaustion to represent their country and be awarded respect on the world stage and afterwards still feel the sting of being emasculated and reduced to nothing but an oppressed colored man or woman at home.

In honor of my Great-GreatGrandparents and Great-Grandparents who would never live to see this day.

In honor of my Grandparents who walked instead of riding the buses, who used the colored only drinking fountains. Who got hosed down and arrested for protesting. Who held up their fists in hopes of civil and social equality and have passed on never to see it or to experience very little of it their life times, this moment I share with you.

Their Country, my country, OUR country is a place where someone like them or myself have the ability to and the opportunity to no longer be blocked, barred and held back by the color of our skin.

We live in a country where indeed anyone regardless of gender, color, religion and social background through the generations can absolutely become President of the United States.

With that must come some pride and joy in being a part of this country.
To those of you who will not, and cannot acknowledge this aspect of our country and will negate this moment, the history and the doors it has opened because of the politcal platform of the newly elected president Barack Obama I invited you to take a moment. Take a moment and revel in the awesomeness of where this country was to how far it's come in providing the opportunity and learning from the wrongs and the mistakes it's made against it's own people of color: Native American, Latin American, African American.... stop me at anytime.
I'm not asking you to agree with who is now president elect of the United States. Take a moment to find the positives in being blessed in the fact that we live in an amazing country. What makes us amazing is our ablility to learn from our mistakes and to endure through the growing pains that have brought us thus far.

It only took us about 200 years to get there, however the fact will always be
A country who once thought of the black man as "the beast" or "the help" or " Property" has elected the very same to leads its country.

Copy and paste the following clip and you'll get an understanding:

And for all these reasons, I Am Having A moment.

To those of you who fear the next 4 years I say to you, out of the mouth of my 18 year old just yesterday: "If Ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." We've been instructed on how to prepare our selves by our Prophets and other church leaders. Perhaps spending some time in the scriptures ( May I suggest revelations?) will remind us the signs of the times and ALL that must happen before hand. I promise as we prepare ourselves for things to come, all fear will be replaced with faith.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Head and Heart Testify of Truth

We members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints go to a 3 hour block of church on Sundays.
There is a meeting called Elders Quorum for the Men ages 18 years old and over, a Meeting called Relief Society for the Sisters 18 and older. Youth and young adults ages 12-17 are broken down into age groups and genders. This is simply called YoungMen/Young Womens or Mutual.
Children 3-11 have a class called primary where they're broken into age groups as well, and there's a Nursery for babies 1-3. All this goes on at the same time.

The next hour block is Sunday school, where husbands and wife come together and discuss lessons on the assigned scripture reading for the week.

The 12-18 year olds come together by age groups to bascially discuss the same as their parents except on their level and in terms understandble for their age group.

The kids 11 and under stay in their classes.

The final hour block is where the family comes together to worship and listen to selected sermon's that are taught by selected members. (Any member of the congregation can be asked ahead of time to prepare the sermon. Most often there are 1-3 speakers, one of them usually a youth speaker). This meeting we also partake of the Sacrament. We partake of bread, as a symbol of the body of Jesus Christ and water as the symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ. In doing so we also covenant with the Lord that we will always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath* given them, (that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee,) that they may always have his Spirit to be with them.
A weekly reminder and renewal of convenants to always be a witness and remember Jesus Christ the Son of God and to keep his commandments.

Often times the first block and the last block are reversed. Anyway now that you have the structure how our sunday's work... on with the point.

I'm not sure why I'm inclined to share this experience. But it is heavy on my mind today, sort of like a testimony.
About 14 years ago, I fell into somewhat of a depression. I wasn't clinically diagnosed but there had been a dark cloud hanging over me for a few months that I felt I could not shake. In this time I had also ceased to have my daily prayers and read my scriptures on a regular basis and had not been to church in weeks. To some those seem like little things but the littles thing come to make big impacts in our lives.
This particular Sunday I woke up in time for the start of the 9am Meeting. I didn't have a desire to go so I brushed the feeling away and ignored it. About an hour later a voice in my head suggested "go to church." I looked at the time, the 2nd hour block would soon be starting, and again I ignored the feeling. About 40 minutes after that I heard out loud a voice... "GO TO CHURCH NOW!" I actually turned around to see who was speaking to me. There was no one there.
I decided to heed the prompting no matter how I felt about going. I pulled my hair back into a pony tail. Put on a jean skirt, my University of Michigan sweat shirt and some footwear and walked the block to church.
It was the last meeting of the day, Relief Society. I sat off bymyself because I didn't want to be bothered. I folded my arms, folded my legs and gave off the best... "don't talk to me, don't sit by me, don't touch me " vibe I could give off. And I sat listening to prelude music. The Relief Society President got up and made the announcments and then asked that we sing the opening song to being our meeting, and then an opening prayer would follow.
As we sang the first verse and I listened to the words of the song, I began to feel tears rolling down my face. By the time we got to the 2nd verse, I was audibly sobbing and 3 sister's hand come and put their arms around me and were huggin me as if to keep me together.
The song I had heard all my life from the time of a small child and knew the words. But for some reason on this day, I FELT everyword being sung.
You see, I've always known that I am a child of the MOST high God. I am Daughter of a Heavenly Father who is so in love with me. We come to this knowledge and teach it at a young age. And through that teaching comes the belief. But on this particular day, this day that someone spoke in my ear to go to the Father's house and RECIEVE the love he had for me. And I felt it. I recived it. And feeling that love strengthened my belief of it. I did not doubt that God My Father knows me intimately. He is aware of my every sorrow, heartache, joy and pain. And he knows what is best for me. And if I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own understanding... in all things he WILL direct my paths.

It has been a most difficult and challenging 4 months. This last week has been particularly difficult as well I have experienced things no one should have to even experience. And I have experienced great joys that everyone should be blessed to have. We all have these experiences. I just happens to be my turn.
Through it all I want to bear witness that I know that my Lord and SaviorJesus Christ lives to Reign. He shed great drops of blood in MY behalf because he loves me AND he wants me to succeed. The beauty of it all is that there is unending Love enough for you as well. There are those out there how have yet to come to this knowledge and it hurts my heart to know others stand in that dark clouds where I've been and feel not of this wonderous light and love. May we all reach out to our brothers and sisters, regardless of religious beliefs and background and be living examples of that love.

May those who don't know Christ personally learn of him because they know YOU.

*** The Hymn:

Our Savior's love
Shines like the sun with perfect light.
As from above
it breaks through clouds of strife.
Lighting our way,
It leads us back into his sight,
Where we may stay
To share eternal life.

The Spirit, voice
Of goodness, whispers to our hearts
A better choice
Than evil's anguished cries.
Loud may the sound
Of hope ring till all doubt departs,
And we are bound
To him by loving ties.

Our Father, God
Of all creation, hear us pray
In reverance, awed
By thy Son's sacrifice.
Praises we sing.
We love thy law; we will obey,
Our heavenly King,
In thee our hearts rejoice

Single Parent's Raising Teenagers in Today's world.

I was asked to be the guest speaker and on a panal about single parent's raising teenagers in todays world.
It's turned into quite a lengthy blog. But I'm pleased at the outcome of what I'll be speaking on.
Here's the link to it, Hope you enjoy it and will give me lots of feedback, I could sure use it.

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!