what it's all about

My photo
Charlotte, NC, United States
I am on a journey -like you, I'm sure. A personal journey, a spiritual journey. A journey about passions, growth, and living. I don't have a good memory, but I value my experiences. It's very strange when you realize that you are being shaped constantly, but ultimately only remember some of the reasons why you are the person you're becoming. I find that when things resonate within me, writing about them helps me to better develop my opinions about them, and to remember them. Sometimes, it's the simple act of looking back and reminding myself where I've been that is all I need to move forward with confidence. That's why I write. Thank you for joining me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Photo Project

December Photo Project

How fun this looks! I was lead to this blog from another that I follow, and though I am not much of a photographer, I think it is a fantastic idea. I am going to give it a shot, if anything, just to help her spread the word, and to document my first holiday season with my hubs. :) I do love this time of year. August-January are months filled with beauty, wonder, and all sorts of things that make my eyes crinkle and twinkle. I hope I can capture some.

The idea is simple. One picture every day for 25 days. I do love photos. If I had the time to spend, and a fancier camera, I would tak many more shots. I love photojournalistic styles, among many others. But really have no clue what I'm doing. I just point and shoot.

That being said, taking the pictures isn't going to be the most challenging part for me. It will be posting them every day. I guess that is where the modern conveniences (ie, camera phones and mobile blogger) will come into play. So stick with me. This will probably be the most posts I'll ever post in such a short span of time, but we shall see.

Monday, November 29, 2010

more locking!

My husband pointed out last night that there were some twists locking around the front of my head. How exciting! It was funny- he kept pinching my roots to feel if they were dense, squshy, or knotted. I do that all the time too, but I never expected him to just reach over and start pushing on my head. He's so funny. But I'm glad he's as into this journey as I am!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now, that's nasty!

So, remember that easily agitated spot at the nape of my neck I told you about? Let's start there. Over the many years of my addiction/torture/imprisonment with relaxers, I have had a few chemical burns. Almost all of them were at the same spot right at the nape of my neck. Which makes sense, as the relaxer is almost always applied there first. It sits there the longest, and ta-da! -a burn. Yuck.

So, this spot is always irritated. It's usually dry, sometimes flaky, and (though I hate to admit it), is regularly picked at. Which has created this problem:

how nasty is that?? Here's what I'm thinking. The butter, lotion, etc. that I rub on that spot, has caused the ever dreaded "build up" that I have read so much about. (You would think with all that reading, I'd ahve been more careful.) The build up, plus flakes of skin (from my regular picking at this spot) have been locking into my hair! Dang! Of course this spot happens to be right where my hair is locking the fastest, and the spot that I can't see- at the back of my head. Had I known this sooner, I would've taken more steps to prevent it. Now I don't know what to do!! I'm scratching at it, and hoping the grossness comesout, but I think somehow I will have to give this a deep cleaning. Looks like I have some research to do.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I had a dream...

...that I washed my hair and all of my twists came out! And my hair was short and blonde. And was a wedge shaped, frizzy fro that nobody could retwist. It was scary! Gaaah!

It's weird how many hair dreams I've had since I decided to loc my hair. I will not idolize my hair. I will not idolize my hair....

How was your day?

  • What did you struggle with today?
  • What did you accomplish?
  • What did you stand up for today?
  • What did you give in to?
  • Who helped you today?
  • Who did you help?
  • Any losses?
  • Any triumphs?
  • Small joys?
  • Despairing news?
  • Did you eat?
  • Were you warm?
  • Did you cry?
  • Did you laugh?

Have you thanked Him yet? For it all??

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Last month, as I realized the year’s end is looming up ahead, I also realized I had to use up the remaining vacation hours that my (very corporate) job had given me. So, I timed those hours with Veteran’s Day, packed up the hubs and the dog, and headed on up to the mountains. We had a beautiful 3 days. The weather was around 70 the whole time, and there was still brightly colored fall foliage on most of the trees.

The drive from Charlotte was smooth and easy. It took about 2 hours, and was quiet and traffic free. We stopped once to take let the dog out, and pulled into our destination mid afternoon.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast in the tiny town of Black Mountain, North Carolina, called the Madison Inn . I have always been hesitant about staying in a B&B. Something about going downstairs in the morning to eat in a small kitchen with a bunch of strangers with morning breath just doesn't appeal to me... But this place was recommended by some friends, so we checked them out online and decided to give it a shot. I am so glad we did. We loved this place.

We arrived at the inn, and walked in to find the front desk was basically the hostess station of a dimly lit restaurant. Actually, at the time, it was a dark restaurant. They are not open for lunch, so only the desk area was lit. We were greeted by a lady that we came to enjoy talking to during the short length of our stay. After checking in, we let Aramis stretch his legs in the dog run, and proceeded up to our room. All of the rooms in the inn are themed. We were staying in the "fine arts room".

It was comfy and quiet. I think there was only one other room occupied while we were there. We really had a good time. That afternoon, after we checked in, we went to downtown Black Mountain to see what there was to see. Downtown is tiny! Like, 4 square blocks. And super quaint. There was an Apple a Day- an all organic cafe where the stuffed avacado was Uh-mazing. And at the homey Veranda cafe, the sweet potato corn soup almost made me cry it was so good. Haha. Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but it was so good. And they had all kinds of cool gifts and knick knacks to look at, which is good, cuz that place filled up quick! There were people milling arround outside waiting to get seated when we left our early lunch on a Thursday afternoon.

We went in the fun general store, the yarn shop, the dog bakery, artisan jewelry stores, and so many more cool places. I don't know how they fit so many neat things in such a small area!

It was on to downtown Asheville the next day. It was just as artsy, if not more so, and much, much, bigger! There was art, and food, and beverages galore. There were a few different places we stopped at to try flights of their craft- beer!

This was at one of our favorites of the trip- LAB (Lexington Avenue Brewery). They had good food (we had frog legs, sweet potato frites, jalepeno hush puppy funnel cake, white meatloaf, curry pastries, and more!) and a great range of beer. Even the types of beer I tend to stay away from, like IPAs, were pretty good. We were both was pleasantly surprised.

Wall street was lined with vibrant gold Ginko trees.
We went into several galleries, ran into a re-plant from Charlotte that my husband knew, and met lots of interesting people. There were dreadheads everywhere. I might have got a case of whiplash from looking at all of them! I bought some beads from a couple of the many bead stores, and strung them in my hair. We wandered through hippy stores and looked at all kinds of quirky things and people. Standing on a streetcorner, some guy in a truck actually called out of his window and thanked me for existing, lol. I guess my fierce beauty made his day. Haha.

mmm beer! Before we left the next day, we went to the Asheville River Arts district. We looked at more artisan crafts, wandered through some very cool galleries, and then took a 5 minute drive to the new and improved Highland Brewing Company taproom and brewhouse. It was awesome. They have a huge, clean space, where they have live shows weekly, and of course we took the free sample filled tour of the brewery. We also got to sample their newest seasonal- one day before it's official release. If you get a chance to try the Cold Mountain, (or any of their beer, actually,) I highly encourage you to do so. Yum!

Before we headed home that night, we ate at the restaurant at the inn. We had great service, a quiet, warm, and comfortable ambiance, and great food. We even left with a cake recipe made from a highland beer- which I made last night. It was so good! Straight from the menu, this is what we ate:

Chicken Piccatta $14.95
Twin boneless breasts… dusted in seasoned flour and pan sautéed to a golden brown..topped with our made from scratch Piccatta sauce, a delicious combination of sweet cream, fresh lemon, garlic and capers

Chicken Madison $15.95
Our signature dish… boneless breast of chicken, stuffed with herbed cream cheese, baby spinach
and diced artichokes… dusted in seasoned flour and pan sautéed in butter to a golden brown…
drizzled with Béarnaise sauce!

We took a pumpkin pound cake home that was scrumptious!

Aaand, then we drove home. We got home late, and worked the next day, but we had a great time. Definitely a good spot for a short trip. We'll be sure to go back again.

random shots of my hair so far

this twist doesn't seem to have any added hair, but it's holding together well. it's swirly!

just woke up. I only wrap the newly twisted roots because I have so much hair.

not sure what I was doing here, exactly... but it shows off the strands!
This was taken before my first retwist. And yes, I was in the car. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

the Dreaded word

In my exploration of the locked internet community, I have seen a lot of discussion over the term “dreadlock”. I figured I might as well weigh in. Now, I know that my opinion may change as my “locs” form, but I have already encountered a misconception in my own journey, and feel it needs to be addressed.

Not long ago, my husband was telling someone that I wanted "dreadlocks". He got a surprised, confused look, and a “She is?? Why?” Chris went on to talk about our trip to Jamaica, my studying, and me finding my fabulous loctician. And she seemed relieved. They went on to talk about the difference between “dreads” and “locs”. She thinks “dreads” are ugly, neglected, unkempt locs of hair, and that “locs” are manicured. But that’s not true. When my hubs came to me with this question, I explained that everything I’ve learned says that the two terms refer to the same thing.

Now, I know that some people don’t like their “locs” to be called “dreadlocks”. They say “there’s nothing DREADful about them.” And that’s fine. I understand what they think. But it’s misguided. The word “dreadlock” is not intended to be offensive. The term “dread”, in the Rastafarian dialect from where the word “dreadlock” comes from, is not a negative term. In the end, when people talk about “dreadlocks”, I don’t think they mean to say that they are dreadful. It is just a commonly used term, and should not be taken offensively.

Last weekend, I saw this guy at church with gorgeous “locs”. I got up the courage to ask him about them, and he said his journey with these “dreads” has gone on for 5 years. And that it’s been fun! I was so excited- to hear him say “dreads”, not “locs”, and to think I had some fun to look forward to. I am not going to worry about calling dreadlocks “dreads”. I think I will end up using the terms “dreads, “dreadlocks”, and “locs” interchangeably. Please don’t take offense if I do, I don’t mean anything by it. Fear of the word, furthers the fear of the subject. You know, like calling Voldemort “He-who-must-not-be-named”. That only gives the feared more power. So empower your head of dreads. Don’t shy away from them. And if someone should happen to say something about it- why not educate them? And in the end, this is my opinion. You have yours, and others will have theirs. And that’s all it is- an opinion. Someone else’s opinion doesn’t have to change how you perceive yourself. I’m not gonna let it change my perceptions- at least, not my perceptions about my hair!

“Dread has a positive connotation in Rastafarian dialect, and can be used as an adjective, indicating a man who ‘fears the Lord’." (Wikipedia. I know, I know.)

dread -from dictionary.com
–verb (used with object)
1. to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of: to dread death.
2. to be reluctant to do, meet, or experience: I dread going to big parties.
3. Archaic . to hold in respectful awe.
–verb (used without object)
4. to be in great fear.

5. terror or apprehension as to something in the future; great fear.
6. a person or thing dreaded.
7. dreads, Informal
8. Informal . a person who wears dreadlocks.
9. Archaic . deep awe or reverence.

10. greatly feared; frightful; terrible.
11. held in awe or reverential fear.

my hair

In correspondence with another writer, I realized that I have not talked about what my hair was like before I started the locing process. So I’d like to do that, and if I can dig up some old pictures, I can show you the texture.

As I have mentioned before, my hair is relaxed. The ends more so than the roots. But naturally, I have super think, curly hair. Every new hair dresser I’ve gone to gets to this spot at the back of my head where the hair per square inch quadruples, and is like, Whoa, what’s this?? Lol. It’s a mess.

My husband also mentioned to me that none of my other posts specifically stated that I am, in fact, black. I assumed that was a given, but in case you were wondering, I am (at least a good bit) black. My mom is Chinese, and my dad makes up all of the rest of me. He’s black, mixed with some Spanish and Native American. And when I was a child, my poor mother had no idea what she was in for! I can remember her arms getting tired when she tried to comb through my hair. And then as I got older, I needed trips to the salon for relaxers, braids, and whatever else I wanted to try. The life of a nappy head.

I have a dry scalp, and a spot at the nape of my neck that always gives me trouble. I once had a bad chemical burn there, and it's been easily agitated ever since.

I'm used to having conditioner in my hair all the time, so this washing every three weeks thing is going to be interesting... I did combine some water, olive oil, and tea tree oil in a spray bottle. I've been shaking it up and spraying my head every day. I hear that locs love water, so I'm gonna make sure to give 'em some! I have also been massaging my head every day too. And I'm developing a case of Hand-in-Head. I can't stop sticking my hands in this beautiful mess of hair.

After about the first 5 days since my last salon visit, my itchiness (and flakiness) skyrocketed. The water/oil concoction I made seems to help. And my twists are still looking pretty fresh. I took some pictures of my beautiful snowfall- aka dandruff, so you can see what I'm talking about. I'll also show you what my roots are looking like two weeks later. I go in for a "grooming" next week, and am very much looking forward to it. I can feel lots of twists getting knotted up, and am looking forward to hearing about my progress from April. And, I'm not gonna lie. Even though the itchiness has subsided somewhat, I'm so excited to get shampooed!

Having someone wash your hair is one of the best feelings in the world, and I'll bet it's even better when you haven't been able to do it yourself for three weeks. Ha!

I know some of you are wondering why I chose to go the salon route. And to be perfectly honest, it's because I'm lazy. I don't have a clue how to do this stuff myself, so at least until my hair starts to lock all over, I will pay to have it maintained. Try not to judge me. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sesame Street Song: I Love My Hair

I am a little behind on blogging about this. If you haven't seen this video or heard about it, you must be as busy as I am. Or live under a rock. On Pluto. So here's your chance. You'll find the lyrics below.

Don’t need a trip to the beauty shop

'cause I love what I got on top.

It’s curly and it’s brown and it’s right up there!

You know what I love? That’s right, my hair!

I really love my hair.I love my hair. I love my hair.

There’s nothing else that can compare with my hair.

I love my hair, so I must declare:I really, really, really love my hair.

Wear a clippy or in a bow

Or let it sit in an afro

My hair looks good in a cornrow

It does so many things you know, that’s why I let it grow

I love my hair, I love my hair

I love it and I have to share

I love my hair, I love my hair!

I want to make the world aware I love my hair.

I wear it up. I wear down. I wear it twisted all around.

I wear braids and pigtails too.

I love all the things my hair can do.

In barrettes or flying free, ever perfect tresses you’ll see

My hair is part of me, an awesome part of me

I really love my hair!

Seeing that I started this blog with the intention to write about my hair, I think I have to write about this. I know every natural hair blog out there has a post on this, and I'm just another one, but there's a great message here. And there are so many things that I love about this video.

First and foremost, it's super cute. The puppet has the cutest giggle, and is going all out to show just how versatile her hair can be. I don't get all flashy and outrageous with my hair anymore, but I love how Sesame Street is telling kids to rock what they got. It's like a baby version of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair", which has a similar message. I think that this video is great for people to relate to, no matter what age or color, even though it's obviously geared towards little girls who are black. I love that the video shows all kinds of styles, and that they are all shown in a positive light.

I think it sends the right message to our little girls- of all races. Accept yourself for who you are, and others for who they are. People don't have to fit a mold and try to turn themselves into something they're not. That being said, I have nothing against perms or weaves, or any hairstyle for that matter. I did the perm thing, I shaved my head, I've done lots. Do I regret it or does it change who I am? Not one bit. I did what worked for me, and you do what works for you!

I also like the video because of the little girl who's the voice of this puppet. Chantylla "Chauncey" Johnson lives in Charlotte, so I have to shout it out! :) She's very talented, traveling around the country with musical troupes, performing on the big screen, and bringing life to puppets! I give her much props. She's only thirteen. If I had her confidence and skills at that age... well, I don't know what I would've done with them. Haha.

The last reason I love this song, and probably my biggest reason, is the story behind it. The man who wrote the song, Joey Mazzarino, wrote it as a tribute to his daughter, Segi. He and his wife adopted their 5 year old daughter from Ethiopia when she was a baby. When he saw how his daughter wanted straight, blonde hair like the dolls she played with, he recognized that something needed to be done to boost her self image. If showing a daughter how cool she is because of how God crafted her isn't great fathering, I don't know what is.

Mazzarino is serious about his daughter. I love that. I love adoption. Love, love, love it. There has always been a place in my heart for it, and I totally respect that he adopted this child, loves on her, and teaches her to embrace herself. I only hope I can be as good a parent to my kids. It also kinda stood out to me because of my affinity for Ethiopia too. My husband spent some time there last year, and we have a few adopted Ethiopian children in our church community. And wouldn't you know it- they all have fabulous heads of hair. And they rock it. I love seeing how people encourage their kids to express themselves and encourage them to be comfortable in their own skin. I see it more and more these days, and I hope it's more than a trend. I hope it's a revolution. A love revolution.

Mmmm. Anybody else thinking tibs wat or miser alecha? And a macchiato?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'll be honest

I don't really have a reaction to yesterday's elections. I know, I know. It was a big deal, an important election. But in the end, aren't they all? It seems that politics have become so... BIG... lately, that it almost makes me apolitical. I'm just tired of it. I want to hear conversations about something other than the Dems this, or the Tea party that. Is that really so bad?

I mean, ultimately, I follow them. I know where I stand on some issues, and need to be better informed about others. I don't vote unless I know what I'm voting for. I don't do it just to watch "the balance". Sorry, but I don't.

One thing I will tell you, is that I'm happy to see our government growing more diverse. More women- and women of color- were elected this year than I've seen. Hopefully this is the beginning of an ongoing trend. I would like to see the makeup of our government reflect the makeup of our population one day. Then we can really say we all have representation in our government.

Okay. That's it for me on that subject. You'll rarely hear me voice my political opinion, and I try not to get too involved in political discussions, because as I said, I'm tired of it. My poor husband loves to talk politics and probably wishes I wanted to discuss it with him more. But alas, I can only handle so much. Plus it's a touchy subject- at least for me- and I am already emotionally charged and slightly imbalanced. I'd like to try and keep our newlywed home calm and safe for now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

it's the little things

Everybody has some small things that make them happy. In my case:

  • waking up surrounded by my favorite snuggly wugglys- my husband and my cat.

  • no traffic

  • Walking into the women's restroom at work to have the lights come on and all the toilet seats up. I know it's weird, but something about knowing that I'm alone and the first to use my toilet makes me happy, lol.

  • free coffee+hot chocolate=cheap mocha

we're off to a good start this morning! :)