Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Blog Redesign Is Complete!

Hi guys! My new blog redesign has been completed and is now up and functioning. As you may have read earlier, I am now using WordPress for Make Blog Not War and will no longer be using Blogger. To see the new website, please visit

I will no longer be updating this particular page. I hope to see you on the other side!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Checking Myself (Because Someone Has To)

I am so stoked about my new blog design, but I will blog about that later. While on IM earlier speaking with the gentleman that is redesigning my fabulous blog, I was going through my posts to see what I wanted to transfer to the new site, and I came across this blog entitled 2008. Yeah. that I wrote on Monday, December 29, 2008. In the blog, I listed the things I was hoping to accomplish this year. To read the complete entry, you can click the link above, but here is a list of the goals for 2009 that I set forth on that day:

*Get my non-profit off the ground and invest in my own business endeavor
*Get in shape. Work out on a regular basis. I have fallen off the last few months
*Establish better eating habits. Less dining out and cut out the sodas (oh how I love 'em)
*Finalize the revisions and edits of my novel and get it published this year, by May 1st
*Less television. More ME time
*Work on my son's website and help him establish his acting career
*Be more frugal when it comes to spending but not lose the spontaneity
*Continue to cultivate my blog and launch my personal website and vlog.
*Finally go to NEW YORK CITY!

Now of course this is only March 4th but I have noticed that I am slipping in most of these areas. I haven't worked on my non-profit paperwork or spoke with my planned Board since January. I've stopped drinking soda completely (yay) but I still do not have the best eating habits and I still eat out way too much (which is why I have been making a valiant effort since beginning my new Challenge). My novel still isn't completely edited and I have pushed the publishing date back AGAIN. I have the television on constantly AND my spending hasn't been curtailed. As far as my goal for my blog, I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I could be, even though I have plans to do more after my blog is redesigned. And I haven't even taped my first video blog (or vlog) and that was something that I was really looking forward to doing. I've went online and shopped airfares for NYC but still haven't purchased my ticket OR settled on a date to go.

There's not one thing that I have been consistent with on that list, well, with the exception of not drinking soda which I have done. It's kind of depressing when I think about it because the words staring back at me are ones that I wrote, goals that I have developed for myself and I have faltered. Took my eye off of the ball one too many times and here it is, heading into the 2nd quarter of the year and I am still seeking goals and not achieving them.

I've got to get my act together. NOW.

I never wanted to be the type of person who talked a lot of game, but in the end, was unable to back it up. I've known people like that and it's not a good thing to witness, especially when you see one's potential and they are too lazy to do anything with it. Laziness is not an option for me, I have too many things that I want to get done and I have to count on ME to get them done.

I consider this entry a reality check, one that needed to be done now and not six months from now. I will play my position. I will complete the goals that I have given myself, and I will NOT be lazy. If I can't check myself, who will?

I am accountable for my actions. And the buck stops here and the work begins. Try hard or end hard.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 1- Healthy Eating & Living Challenge

Many of you are aware that in January, I began a 30-day No Soda Challenge which I successfully completed and as of today's date, still haven't indulged in a full soda (although last week I had a sip of someones Coke). Now that I have lost a few pounds and feel the difference that living soda-free has made in my life, I have decided to also challenge myself with eating more healthy in order to get in shape and lose some more weight. My goal is to lose 15 to 20 lbs, which would make me picture perfect for a nice two-piece which I plan to wear during my trip to Miami with ForeverLex.

My goals are simple: NO FAST FOOD. No sodas. Work out at least three times a week. Cook a healthy meal at home at least five nights a week and stay away from take-out. I would like to stay under 1800 cals a day.

Here is the data on Day 1 of the Healthy Eating & Living Challenge:

Breakfast- a bowl of Rice Chex cereal with two percent milk (150 cals)

Lunch- nothing

Snack- two pieces of sharp cheddar cheese (180 cals)

Snack- 1 cup of orange juice (125 cals)

Dinner- Hungarian Skillet Stew with egg noodles (400 cals)

Snack- 1 cup of Silk chocolate milk (140 cals)

= 995 cals.

My Daddy, My Hero. My Life.

Early on during my beginning existence, my father and mother married. Mom got knocked up by my dad, whom she had been dating for two years, and they decided to get married when she was about two months along. That would be the best decision my mother ever made.

My father is and was a champion. Growing up, my parent's marriage was mostly in discord, but my dad was as good as gold. Being an only child, I was doted on and spoiled and played the Daddy's Little Girl role perfectly, but that is not why I consider my dad a good father. I consider my dad a wonderful dad because he stayed around while most dad's didn't. My mother was 19 and my dad was 21 when they had me, the two of them were relatively young and inexperienced in the ways of the world BUT he did what he was supposed to do, what some fathers don't do, and played his role.

I was often closer to my father than my mother for several reasons which would require another blog entry and another talking point. But let me just say that I don't think my mother really wanted to be a mother at so young of an age, and I am sure that is why she got her tubes tied early and never had any more kids. She wasn't the nurturing type of person, or touchy feely, where my dad was that type. He was affectionate. He attended all of my events at school, took me shopping for my first bra, and pretty much raised me while my mother always seemed to be searching for something other than what she had. I am not saying that my mother wasn't a good mom. I am just saying that when it came to parenting, she was out of her element most of the time and she will even admit that now.

There was a time in my Dad's life where he fell down and my parent's separated and that was when he got into cocaine heavily. In reality, both of my parents dabbled in recreational drug use but my dad got into it quite heavily and we almost lost everything we had. Once he quit the drug use, he began to drink and became an alcoholic and received two DUI's. My dad was not perfect, but when it came to ME, he made sure I was always taken care of and he continues to show me (and now HIS grandson and granddaughter) and he is always there when I need him. STILL!

The drinking caught up with my dad. When he was 35, he had his first heart attack and since then has been diagnosed with heart disease. He also has had several operations on his heart. My father also suffers with kidney problems and is in stage 3 of renal failure and will result in having dialysis weekly. I have already decided that once it gets to that point, I will be tested to see if I am a match so that I can donate my kidney to him. He also has liver problems and it seems his body is breaking down and according to his primary physician, is more like 75 years old instead of the 55 years old that he really is.

Our bond is eternal and I just when I think I cannot love him anymore than I already do, it continues to grow and grow. With his health deteriorating, each moment that I spend him is cherished more than the last. I love this man with all of my heart, and I am so blessed that he has been in my life, the way father's are supposed to be.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Growing Pains

I am now three months deep into my blog and I have noticed that I am outgrowing my space. I am not that crazy about my current blog layout so I have decided to hire a professional designer to create a more personalized internet environment for me and my thoughts. The site will now be self-hosted with my own hosting instead of Blogger, which will allow for more personalization and less cookie cutter action. I am also changing the site from being in Blogger to Wordpress, so this is going to be a big transition. Hopefully, you guys will stick with me during this "pardon my dust" era, which should be complete within the next week or so.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Guest Blogger- Naturally Alise Responds To My Personal Domestic Abuse Post

Under my previous post entitled: Not To Be Taken Lightly, I discussed my own personal experience with physical and verbal abuse. In the comments section, one of my Twitter friends and blog colleagues Naturally Alise, did not fully agree with my closing statement, time heals all wounds. In order to clarify her reasoning for not agreeing and also give her a forum in order to reply in full to my post, I asked her to write a featured Guest Blog on my site. The following is her blog entry written expressly for BlogNotWar:

I had to rebuild my self confidence and strength back, but I know what it feels like to be overpowered and bullied by the one that you love and who supposedly loves you. So I do feel for not only Rihanna, but for every victim of domestic or physical violence male or female.You can They say time heals all wounds. I would say that that is a correct assessment.
I must respectfully semi-disagree with my buddy Dannigyrl. Time does NOT heal all wounds. In fact, emotional wounds behave just like physical wounds. * You can ignore the wound and it will get infected and become much larger and more detrimental than the original injury. In fact in 1997, I was sexually assaulted. I will not go into the specific details (I'll save that for my memoirs one day, shit, I'm gonna be famous y'all), but I swept it under the rug and refused to deal with it until a few years ago. That pain ate me up and festered in my spirit for all those years. It affected my lifestyle and affected every relationship I was ever in negatively. time did not heal a single thing. Not a one.* You can deal with the wound. You can endure the sting of the alcohol and cleanse it. Do you once I started talking about what happened to me and dealing with my emotions constructively, through therapy and support of friends I was able to come out a better and infinitely stronger woman. I just had to get over the feelings of shame and stigma (the sting of the alcohol, if you will) and just hold my head up. I did that, time didn't do a single thing. Not a one.BUT*Just like a wound, it scars. It leaves something behind. That doesn't mean it necessarily has to be bad. I am a firm believer in turning tragedy or negativity into something fruitful in the end. That is the key, use that time on this planet to do something that will help or encourage the next woman to restart her life and maybe be encouraged not to waste precious time walking around with open wounds.***I also really feel the need to throw in this random PSA. STOP blaming victims. Le sigh...***Thanks,Naturally Alise

You can visit Naturally Alise by going to her blog Black Woman Lost and Found HERE and Cubicle Crusaders HERE

Friday, February 20, 2009

Not To Be Taken Lightly.

I refuse to jump on the Rihanna/Chris Brown story because I do not know all of the facts at hand. There have been few public statements given by the parties involved, and thus I cannot make a proper assessment without having knowledge of the event in its proper context. What I do know, is that physical violence against someone else is very serious, and domestic violence is not something to be taken lightly.

Instead of giving my two cents on a situation that I do not know much about, I have decided to discuss my own experience with domestic violence.

As many of you know, I had my son at the age of 18 and in doing so, I became involved with a man four and a half years my senior. If I knew then what I know now, I would've discovered that the reason why he became interested in a then-17 year old womanchild was the fact that a female of that age can be someone that he could dominate or control. It is not normal in modern times for a 22 year old man to be infatuated with a 17 year old girl, other than pure attraction. The mindset of a 17 year old young woman is not very appealing nor mature. My son's father became obsessed with me because I was moldable like clay and able to be made into the woman that he wanted in his vision. But of course, again, at the age of 17 and 18, I could not (or simply refused to) see the forest for the trees.

The signs of violence began while we were dating. He didn't want me to spend time with other friends, he wanted me to be with him 24/7. Everyday after school, I had to wait about 45 minutes until he got off at 3 so that he could pick me up and take me home. He didn't want me riding the bus or driving my car to school for fear I would drive others or communicate with others. Back then I saw that as love but of course I know that love had nothing to do with it.

One night after an intense fight about his temper, I started to pack my bags to leave. Now mind you, I graduated from high school when I was 17 and my mom and dad were going through a divorce so I was kind of left to do what I wanted, so most nights I would stay at his apartment and I just kind of moved in slowly. Anyway, I told him I was going to go back home and sort things out and he pulled a gun out and put it to his head and said he was going to kill himself if I left. Of course I didn't want to be the cause of his death, so I stayed. Now I know that he was way to vain to off himself, but then I wasn't the wiser.

Then he got me into the whole, I want to you to have my baby thing because he had a two year old son and wasn't allowed to see his son because of drama. I gave in to him because he cried on my shoulder every night and I really thought we were going to be together forever. So I stopped taking the pill and suffice to say, it was downhill from there.

The verbal abuse started. He would call me fat as I gained weight with the pregnancy. He always liked me to wear skimpy items of clothing and as my belly got bigger, I could no longer rock my cute tops and tennis skirts that were in at that time and he would make me feel bad and tell me that I would have to shop at Lane Bryant if I got any bigger. After my son was born, I lost all the weight within two months but he still wasn't satisfied.

One night, I went out with the girls, the first night out since I had had my son, and he acted a fool. He followed us to the club in Tampa and demanded I came home and when I refused, he pulled me in the car, practically dragging me. I didn't get hit that night but the blows started shortly after that.

First it was a push here or a shake there and those became slaps, and then punches and kicks. I remember one night very clearly: New Edition was on a reunion tour with Keith Sweat and my friend won tickets on the radio station to see the concert at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. I told him about the concert weeks before, but that night he acted like he didn't know I was going out. He told me he wasn't watching our son and I told him I already made arrangements with his mother to watch him and he snapped. He told me I wasn't going to go anywhere and that he rented movies for us to watch that night. I told him to get out of the bathroom while I was getting ready because there was no way I was missing the concert. I got in the bathtub and he took my curling iron that I had just plugged up and tossed it into the tub. The only thing that saved me from getting electrocuted was the plug was yanked out the wall when he threw it in the tub so there wasn't enough electricity to shock me.

I didn't go to the concert that night.

No one in my family knew of the violence I was going through. It was a scary situation because there were many nights that I thought I was not going to make it. He was always careful to hit me in places that were not visible to the public. Usually my stomach or back. But I can tell you that the verbal abuse was worse than the physical. The bruises always healed but the memory of his words saying the most hurtful things to me would replay over and over.

I didn't feel worthy.

And then a divine intervention occurred. He got arrested for having a unregistered weapon and was in jail for a few days. I took those few days and the money I had saved and my son and I moved into another apartment. He didn't have access or keys. He flattened my tires a few times but there was nothing he really could do to harm me anymore. I wasn't in his control. In order to see his son, we always met at his mom's house or in a public place. I had so much dirt on him that I threatened to call the police if he tried to take my son or harm me in any way.

That was ten years ago.

Now, we are good. Or as good as we can be with our history. I moved away to my hometown and he became involved with another woman and it became HER problem, not mine. I got married and divorced. And he is still struggling with women and relationships. We don't discuss it. It is all about our son during phone calls or visits to Florida. But every once and a while, he apologizes for what he did to me. And our son, because our son did bear witness to many of these events. And he remembers some of them even though he was only two and three years old at the time.

I had to rebuild my self confidence and strength back, but I know what it feels like to be overpowered and bullied by the one that you love and who supposedly loves you. So I do feel for not only Rihanna, but for every victim of domestic or physical violence male or female.

They say time heals all wounds. I would say that that is a correct assessment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

30 Day No Soda Challenge-Mission Accomplished

I have officially completed my 30 Day No Soda Challenge. I lost a total of 16 pounds and 2 and a half inches off of my waist. My beverage intake consisted of water, sweet tea, cranberry and apple juice. I am sure the weight loss is contributed to not drinking soda, but I also changed my eating habits by cooking more healthy foods, not eating after 8pm, and curving eating in between meals.

I have decided to continue my No Soda challenge to see how far I can really go without drinking soda. I HAVE NOT had a soda since January 5, 2009 even though I have surpassed the 30 day tie frame. I honestly don't miss it and I would rather devote my caloric intake to food than to soak it up with  200 calorie per pop soda.

Mission accomplished, at least for now. I planned on adding yoga or Pilates and more exercises to my lifestyle challenge and I have failed to do the latter. I am not giving up on that, though. Weight loss was not a major factor for me changing my eating habits but I do have a goal of losing 30 pounds so I can be leaner and well within the guidelines for weight set forth for my height and age. The YMCA near my home has a yoga class beginning at the end of the month, and by golly, I will be in that class.

I Have Faltered.....

I could tell towards the end of January that I was getting bored with blogging. Not bored in the sense of not wanting to blog, but bored in the sense that it was getting hard for me to keep up the daily pace of blogging at least once a day AND keep up with my duties as mother and property manager and the like.

There are a lot of bloggers that blog everyday once or twice or maybe even more than that. I envy them because I wish I was creative enough to think of topics to fill up these pages. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Multitasking, although I am somewhat good at it, can sometimes lead me astray.

I need to get out of my head. I have received several emails from my followers and other readers wanting to know if I was okay and if I had given up on my blog. What I now understand is that this blog is bigger than me. The content, the writing, the subjects are all an outlet for ME but there are those of YOU that care about it and come to my site because what I write touches something in YOU. As I have stated before, I have started so many blogs in the past just to stop writing after a few days or weeks and I promised myself that that would not happen again.

So I apologize in advance and hope you understand. Sometimes life happens. But in reality, I need this blog in my life. I've faltered, as we all often do, but I hope I haven't lost you as a follower and that you continue to read my blog.