What Does Fourth of July Mean for the Black Woman?

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Does it really mean freedom?Freedom to walk down the road, street, path and treated like a human being? Or will she be treated like a woman of ill repute, with eyes glued to her glorious backside, since America discovered backsides due to Jennifer Lopez, Kim Khardashian and Beyonce?

Will the Fourth of July mean that a sista walking down a concourse will be invisible because she really has no value unless she has a microphone in her hand like Diana Ross singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”? And the person that remembered seeing Miss Ross oh so many decades ago, will she clutch her handbag and recoil in fear thinking the darkie in front of her, who unbeknownst to the terrified white woman, is in a much higher tax bracket and does not need her paltry wad of cash?

Independence Day for the Black Woman…as she strolls down the esplanade, or the park or cross walk, will she be blissful because the man she loves, loves her for her, and she does not have to worry about him raising his voice, raising a fist or emotionally abusing her, because…well they have it like that and it takes hard work on both sides.

Do you get excited to see fireworks, that is fireworks if your community can afford them with budget cuts, and do you realize that in 1776 when you were colored you weren’t even considered a person? That Post Slavery times you still had to fight for your freedom, the right to vote, to own property, to work in a place where you weren’t considered “the help”? Refer to Frederick Douglass’ famous speech on this holiday for African-Americans, it put things into proper prospective, for all you scholars out there.

I will be happy this fourth of July. I will thank God for my health, family, friends and my loyal pet. I will reflect on the many contributions my sisters made to this company and be free. I will eat that chocolate chip pie and be a happy camper.

What does the Fourth of July mean to you?

My Friend

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After six months of disappearance my friend came back. She was not missed. I did not even think about her in the least because she was a pain in the asthma attack. Whenever I knew she was coming around I would cringe and brace myself, and I would get warnings two weeks before she showed up. Like clockwork I always knew when her triflin’ butt would appear, wrecking havoc on my life. It was like Basketball Wives, RHOA , Hip Hop Wives, Star Jones and BET’s old girl “Cita” from “Cita’s World“, rolled into one. Add a dash of a thug missus from “Bad Girls’ Club“, a shot of a contestant from “Maury” and a jilted jump off from “For the Love of Ray J” and you get the picture. This child was conniving and a backstabber, so I prepared for her with a bag of salt and vinegar chips and copious amounts of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate anything, the more chocolate the better. When my friend was around I craved protein just to deal with her so a nice medium rib eye did the trick.

After leaving from around me I felt much better. My moods were better and I could think clearer. But I knew that heifer would be back. She didn’t care how old I was she wanted to mess with me. I told her I was too old to for her to be hanging around, and she just laughed and said that she’ll be back because she enjoyed messing with my head. I replied, “You narcissistic, blatant, b, u were gone for half a year and now you wanna come back?!”

What I just described was my menstrual cycle. Happy Monday!!

Missy Elliot and Graves Disease

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I briefly read from The Root headline that rapper/hip hop/r&b producer and label owner Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot has had Graves Disease for a couple of years. Graves disease is when your thyroid levels go through the roof and your heart races and you get the “shakes”. You become irritable and forgetful and you have a tendency to lose weight. If you are not careful your eyes bulge out of their sockets which is a telltale sign that lead to former FLOTUS Barbara Bush to be diagnosed by doctors. Your eyes do recede if you catch the disease in time but when I had it I was left with chronic dry eyes because my eyes do not close completely at bedtime. Surgery could remedy this where stitches would alleviate the open eyes but my eyes did decrease in size. One eye is larger than the other but it is hardly noticeable.

If you felt my thyroid gland when I was in the midst of the disease you could feel how and observe how enlarged it was. Can you say Adam’s Apple? I tried the medication to get my thyroid back in balance along with the anti-anxiety medication but after months it was not working. I was once again bed ridden and prior to my diagnosis I just assumed it was depression until  my assertive friend Betty insisted it was something else.

I read tons of books on thyroid disorders and I decided to go with the radioactive iodine treatment. You drink the iodine which essentially “kills” your thyroid, and you are left taking synthyroid, a synthetic hormone for the rest of your life. Every three months or so you must take a test to determine your thyroid levels. If it is off, your medication must be adjusted. It has been said that you can avoid medication by alternative methods such as working out or taking a thyroid hormone from an animal. I see the best endocrinologist in the state and he takes his time as he is so thorough. I give thanks to the father above because I was a hot mess and did not know what to do with myself. It turns out my sister had thyroid issues around my age and ended up having surgery. It is best to see a specialist to make well-informed decisions. Otherwise you can find yourself in a morgue, or nicknamed “Frog” because of your bulging eyes.  You need exercise and the benefit of sunlight and support. Do not underestimate this small, butterfly shaped gland that acts as a thermostat in your body.

Post Script: I stumbled on an old photo of Barbara Bush in 1940. For the majority of my adult life I have seen her in pearls and the gray do. I am totally shocked that Mrs. Bush looked like a pin up girl back in the day. Carry on and be strong, readers.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

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Days like this when we have what is considered a heat wave tend to bring out short tempers. I tend to make  my myself scarce because I get irritable. I don’t want to snap on people. Leave me alone and chill. I will sit under a fan or ac, stay hydrated and check on my parents who want to be cheap and not have anything on. Oh, no. I have read too many stories of the elderly, pets and small children perishing because of the intense heat. A storyline on CSI had an infant left in the car for hours because the parent forgot to check the back seat. Tragic. I believe an administrator who was so stressed out and frazzled did the same. I do not want to read a story about a woman leaving her child in a hot car just to get their hair “did”.

I will say it again, I will not complain about this heat after the horrific winter that we had. I can go to the beach, sit on the shoreline and be happy. Beaches more often than not improve my mood. In the famous words of St.Louis rapper, Nelly, “It’s getting hot in here”. ( Pronounced with a strong regional accent.) So let’s take off all our clothes.

She’s Losing It

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My mom has mild dementia. We first noticed it a year ago and she did fine at one evaluation and not so good at another. Mom refuses to take her medication sometimes. Her doctor that she had for over thirty years subscribed ginkgo biloba which is over the counter and non-regulated as an herbal supplement. Okay. But we need something stronger. I point this out to my dad and he states that she won’t take it. Hello! Can you break this pill up and put it in her apple sauce or drink? Come on now. Why have mom suffer any longer just because she can’t make rational decisions? Yet you call your children over when there is a crisis. Mom should be enjoying the best years of her life, not ranting and  being obstinate. A pill won’t solve everything but at least it can help. But you are more concerned with what I am wearing and who will stare at me when I walk my dog. Stop deflecting and do your job as a husband.

I’m Baaack

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OK.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day, which is traditionally the start of summer. Summer blockbusters appear at the movies, and this year it was “The Hangover II” that broke attendance records. Despite lukewarm reviews, it was a movie with a following that had a built-in fan base of teenagers and young adults out for a couple of laughs, not highbrow entertainment, such as “The King’s Speech”, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Did I see either picture? No, it’s been ages since I have seen a movie and I don’t even have cable or even basic TV. I went from Comcast and a large Samsung TV to nada.

Contrary to popular belief I don’t miss it. Cable is a luxury and at this point I barely surpass the poverty level. So I write and read most of the day, something that I always yearned to do. Back to Memorial Day. It is a day that we stop and  commemorate soldiers who died in battle and celebrate people who fought for our country. I can’t imagine being sent thousands of miles away from your country and putting your life on the line for a country that does not even validate you. You could be from West Virginia, and living in a trailer park and decide to enroll in the army. You might return after your third tour of duty with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and unable to function. Will you receive the proper treatment available? That’s a hard call to make. The VA Hospital in Bethesda, Md had serious code violations that made national headlines. But I digress. I have lots of respect for people who are military and vow to keep them in memory for Memorial Day. It is only fitting. Don’t you agree?

I am Not A Doctor, I Just Like Watching Grey’s Anatomy

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Well, the author of the so-called study on Black Women being the most unattractive might lose his teaching position at his London University. All fear the wrath of African-American women. Or as Tyler Perry’s book by Madea succinctly described it, “Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings!

During my early days of depression I recall taking St John’s Wort, it did nothing for me. Chinese ginseng Tea, bitter taste, time-consuming. Kava  Kava for anxiety, and Valerian tea for anxiety. They did nothing for me. Please note that I did not take them at once! Please also note that I am not a physician nor play one on T.V. These statements in no way are endorsements for any herbal supplements, so keep this in your depressed or non depressed mind. If you can remember.

Ginseng tablets did work for energy but it gave me a jittery feeling after. Also, acupuncture for my menstrual cramps did work for me the one time I went under the tiny needles placed in strategic locations. I remember saying to my self, this is what it is like to be normal, cramp, and symptom free. I see now why they call menstrual cycles the “curse” and my favorite, “your friend”. That heifer is no friend of mine, she ain’t even a frenemy. But seriously, the one hundred dollars a pop non insurance covering injections were to costly for my budget, so I went on the pill to control my symptoms with extra hormones.

Long, long ago, back in the 90’s, In Style magazine was in its infancy stage and some celeb or flavor of the month diva mentioned that she drank Yerba Mate for energy. I thought, this is a revelation because it was South American. I also thought  it was a revelation because it wasn’t the “I use the astronomical La Mer face cream all over my body and go to the spa weekly” bit that makes me want to hurl a platform shoe at the wall. I tried the yerba tea in mint flavor and loved it. I learned that you shouldn’t drink the tea after five pm because you will NOT sleep that evening.

Those botanical herbs from the rain forest. Gotta love them. Yerba Mate tea can be found in Whole Foods or any health food store. But remember, I am not a doctor, nurse, intern, etc. I just like watching” Grey’s Anatomy”.

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