Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not Feeling It Today But This Too Shall Pass~

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tomorrow I have chemo treatment and today I am not feeling it. By” it” I mean tomorrow’s treatment and this whole thing called cancer treatment. Rest assured I am having a moment and it will pass. But right now I am not feeling this whole episode. It is like that sometimes when you are going through treatment. And I’m sure this feeling is not exclusive to cancer treatment, but my situation is treatment for cancer.

Wonders of wonders I can truthfully say that since I have started typing this entry and played a few games of Word Drop on Facebook my crankiness is making moves to move on down the road. And I can hear the original cast from the Broadway show The Wiz singing Move on Down the Road:

Oh, there may be times
When you wish you wasn't born
And you wake one morning
Just to find your courage gone

But just know that feelin'
Only lasts a little while
You just stick with us
And we'll show you how to smile!

Ease on down, ease on down the road
Come on ease on down, ease on down the road
Ease on down, ease on down the road
Don't you carry nothing
That might be a load

Come on ease on down, ease on down the road
Ease on down, ease on down the road*

See I told you it was just a moment.

I hope this post has been Tasty & Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.

Love & Light to you all - Valerie

*Charlie Smalls – Composer and & Songwriter

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I LOVED The Help!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I ENJOYED the movie, The Help. I read the book and enjoyed that as well. The movie was rather close to the book so if someone doesn’t read the book they can still enjoy the movie. I am stating my love of both the book and the movie because there has been so much written about why black folks shouldn’t like The Help. Well if you know me then you know I don’t cotton to anyone telling me what to like or dislike especially if their justification revolves around “because you are black, you shouldn’t like such and such.”

HOLD ON! WAIT A MINUTE – you have to be kidding me. Right?! Well know that I think that kind of reasoning is just plain CRAZY TALK! Black folks, red folks, brown folks, white folks, and yellow folks do not have to agree with their “tribe,” at all times. I mean there are some issues that are central to a group for instance The Civil Rights Movement. I don’t think there were too many black folks saying: I don’t agree with this thing called civil rights; therefore, we shouldn’t get involved. Most disagreements regarding the CRM were around the methods not the overall validity of the movement itself.

I am a writer so I always appreciate a good book and The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a very good book. Her characters ring true and are clearly delineated from one another. I don’t want to hear how Kathryn cannot write a black female character because she can and she did. If a writer doesn’t like The Help then they should write their own version of it. Keep in mind Kathryn wrote her version based on her observations as a child who was cared for and raised by the help. She gave her black female characters depth, soul, spirit and DIGNITY. Her homage to her personal, Aibileen is filled with love, understanding and compassion.

Some people have written that the movie is a feel good movie for white folks. Stop the madness people. The book and movie is about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s a very different time from 2011 and 1868 for that matter. Sometimes I think black folks want to act like certain things did not happen. As if we are here now, wherever that is and we don’t have to dredge up those old times.

What is so wrong with highlighting the dignity of women who had to leave their children every day to raise someone else’s children, women who suffered daily indignities but suffered in silence displaying an inner strength that some people like to say “better them than me.” If we lived in those times we would have got along to get along too. Because of those women, black women today have so many other options. Those women from The Help put many a child through college and graduate school. There should be no shame attached to those women. Highlighting the Aibileens and Minnies of the world is not dredging up old times rather it is paying respect to women who came before us and raised others children to insure that we would not have to do the same.

Two days ago I responded to a post on Facebook that basically said don’t tell me how to feel. See below for my FB post:

As a Black Native American woman I am so tired of films that feature black characters having the added burden of correcting old racial problems. Why? Why? Why? Why can't The Help be a story with great characters that tells a story that entertains some and enlightens others? Why the extra burden of fixing an old problem especially one as sticky as racial segregation in MS in the 60s? It's a book people - it's a movie -why do we expect either one to fix a thorny issue like how maids were treated by their bosses during the Civil Rights Movement? Stop the madness is just a MOVIE made from a BOOK.

I don't expect The Help to rectify old problems. And while I am a Democrat it has always bothered me that some over the top Democrats aka raging Liberals think it's okay to tell me, a woman of color how to respond to a situation or representation of a situation when they never have to deal with any situation that I have found myself in and will surely find myself in again and again. How dare anyone who has the cloak and comfort of melanin-challenged skin dictate to me how I should ever feel about being, seeing or reading anything that has to do with the "black experience" in America? I don't need that type of help. It is offensive and just plain crazy talk people! Now I will put my soapbox away until the next hot button issue presents itself. Love & Light to you all.

Other issues involving The Help: My other issue is when films get made with Black women as major characters there is always some major controversy making it easier for Hollywood to say "It's just not worth it." Thank God The Help is making money because Hollywood always likes the ring of the register. New point: It says something about our society that we think a movie/book should solve century old problems - a little too simplistic.

And finally, as a writer I am in awe of Kathryn Stockett’s persistence in sending out her novel as she continued to receive rejection after rejection, sixty in total. But as we writers say, “Only one has to say yes.” So I too shall continue to send out my work, be it my novel or screenplay, for publication and purchase.

I guess that says it all people…..

I hope this post has been Tasty & Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.

Love & Light to you all.

Monday, July 18, 2011

49 is Feeling Fine!

July 14, 2011

Today I am 49 years and 2 days old. And I’m feeling good, which is good considering the last 8 challenged-filled months. What with a hip replacement due to a cancer relapse, and having to utilize a walker, which I have ditched. YEAH for me!!!!!! My cane and I are best friends, at least outside the house. When I’m inside I don’t use it and am hoping to give it up by the end of August.

Adding to my issues my sister, Daryl, had a cancer relapse too. She’d been feeling pain in her groin area and thought it was a groin pull, well if it were only that simple. Then a knot showed up on her head, in the front of her head. She thought something had bitten her. Turns out it was a tiny tumor, which she has named Matilda, and the groin pull was actually a cracked pelvis, luckily just two small hairline fractures. So add my relapse + her relapse and you have some idea of what has been going on. But believe it or not, it is all good.

Life if unfolding as it should. Some days I have a hard time remembering that but in the end I always come back to the knowledge that what is for my highest good and Daryl’s is manifesting.

I know I sound like Pollyanna, the main character in the best-selling novel Pollyanna. The main character has an optimistic outlook on life that revolves around The Glad Game, which consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, a fine coping skill for anyone, in my opinion. But being a Pollyanna is generally not viewed as a positive; instead it is usually a putdown and a way to belittle positivity. I do employ The Glad Game as a coping mechanism but not because I love Pollyanna, am naïve or trying to smile my problems away.

I do it because my Mother, Barbara Lee, taught me to find the silver lining in every situation. Sure there will be some circumstances that make you want to scream, pull your hair out, stomp your feet and cry. So when confronted with such a situation, scream, pull your hair out, unless of course the chemo takes care of that for you, stomp your feet and cry. Then do your hair, if there is any left or put a wig on and get on with living. At least that works for me. I have to find a silver lining in order to make it through to the other side.

Anger, denial and pessimism will do nothing but make whatever is happening worse. Don’t get me wrong I have my moments, I am human. But I have come to realize that finding a silver lining will lighten the burden and make the journey less taxing. So given the opportunity to choose between optimism and pessimism I am always going to go with positivity but that’s just me: Valerie “Pollyanna” Lee.

Live, Love & Laugh!

Until I post again make sure you get your fair share of Cupcakes & Travel Magazines!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome Back to Me!

June 7, 2011

Hello, Hello, Hello! I know it has been too long since my last post but I have been relaxing, resting and getting treatment for my cancer relapse. Life is good and getting better each day. Some days are okay, some are FABULOUS and some have been not so good. But that's life.

My new hip is acting like it’s mine – still a little stiff but more walking will take care of that. I “walk” around the house without my cane nowadays and use it only outside the home. The reason I put walk in quotation marks is in the beginning it was quite the sight to see me doing some semblance of walking in the home. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

For those of you who didn’t know I was terminated by my employer when my short-term disability ran out but there are no hard feelings. They supplied me with information regarding long-term disability which I am currently receiving along with social security benefits. It is all good. As long as I can pay my bills, including a ridiculously high COBRA tab, I am happy. I am beyond grateful for my insurance and no matter the cost I will pay it.

My family has been beyond supportive and loving. I shall share some stories of our time together during my recuperation period, which included my sister Brenda’s healing from a broken ankle at the same time. Since her condo has so many steps she had to spend 4 months with us (Mom, James, Daryl and I) while she healed and did physical therapy. It was quite the experience.

Happy Birthday to my cousin Wanda today!

Until my next post~

Love, Light & Peace to you all!