#AlltheFeelsFriday: Digable Planets - Where I'm from

This is from Digable Planets and it is so lively, punchy, and clever with the lyrics. Here's the song (from the early 90s) with the video and the lyrics are below so you can read them while you listen to them. 

Boogie jive and rap is life, where I'm from
Where I'm from, I might play with Izzy where I'm from
Where I'm from, it be like, "Run your coat black"
Jupiter, keeps her fat beats by the pack

Where I'm from, nappy hair is life
We be reading Marx where I'm from
The kids be rockin' Clarks where I'm from
You turn around your cap, you talk over a beat

And dig some sounds boomin' out a jeep
Where I'm from, cocoons hide the youth, swoon units 100 proof
You want some beef, they will cut you some
Where I'm form, the beats is infinite where I'm from

Voodoo, Ashubani, gangsta lean where I'm from
I'm interplanetary, my insect movements vary
It's kinky if it's hair, G, where I'm from
The firehoses blow, it's purple wind and snow, I do a hit and go, split

It's hip, what's hip? When hip is just the norm
'Cause Planets pledge allegiance to the funk in all it's forms
The kinks, the dance, the prints in all the shirts
My grandmother told my mother it's Africa at work

On vibes, we freak, them universal beats
You find it at the spot you hit at ends of every week
We twist, exist, to spin the maddest hits
Up here funk is our neighbor so we paid her a visit

For rock we can't do nothin', for this we come equipped
Off disc, off tape, rap blastin' 'til from 8
The really truly fat the fly on the flip

Cocoa gotta know, how Planets, gotta roll
Speak the mega cool, get funky as a goal
It's calm, relax, we're only some new jacks
That acts from the funk but don't play the role, where you from?

Weekend, "Dig Plans" got T's where I'm from
Where I'm from, it's Collins 13 where I'm from
Where I'm from, brothers took the beat and got fly
Why? That's most asked by 85, where I'm from

Fakin' the funk you get did
Projects, tenements, pyramids
Where I'm from, we're livin' off the boom boom crack
It's that hip hop rockers jazz when I max

Peace be the greeting of the insect tribe
Pestilent forces can't catch the vibe
We live to love and we love to rock mics
We speak in ghetto tongue 'cause ghetto's the life

Food for thought so get a buffet plate
So just watch me step alone, into the sunset
Left foot right foot 1-2 mic check

Brewin' funk inside my soul kitchen
So pull up a chair here's a bit have a listen
Of hardhead intervene, damn I know you're fluent
Yeah, 'cause Doodle ain't havin it and Butterfly knew it, where you from?

Venus acts a fool at the square right? Yeah
Doctors engineer in apparel right? Yeah
Hip-Hop made a point last year right? Yeah
But Planets is the joint this year right? Yeah

Planets got the dubs and live to grass-hop
Duck out from the fuzz, that sweat the hip-hop
Risin' like we foam, get it from the dome
I'm from where the fat beats stretch for mad blocks

We can get a kit, without, no thread
Feelin' funky beats go straight, to the head
Fall into a club, dig on what we love
It be past six, before we reach bed

Butter freaks on relics we say, those are fat
Doodle makin' silk, LaQuan, where it's at?
We need to stack a sack, for rap to take us dap
So we treat our clips, just like, bustin' caps

Rip it 'til dawn, kick it 'til dawn
Hip-Hop is the fix, or else, we be gone
People thought they canned it, rap is not by bandits
Digable Planets got it, goin' on

Everywhere, every everywhere
Everywhere, every everywhere
Everywhere, every everywhere

Getting rid of the terrors at night

Question: You know what's worse than having a nightmare?  
Answer: Waking up to one... 

My daughter and favorite student (and, as a natural extension, the rest my family) have done our best to manage this sort of thing since my daughter was very very young - an (almost) waking nightmare for everyone involved and including her. 

Imagine, if you will, blissfully sleeping and being woken up by your child doing something like this:
That, my friends, was a video of what is called either a night terror or a sleep terror
It's something that has plagued my daughter from her most tender years of early childhood and it used to happen at least once a night and sometimes multiple times a night. Thankfully, in the past three years, there has been a drastic reduction in how often we are all forced to contend with them. 
After a lot of research and diligent commitment to finding a workable solution to combat them, all of these things are how we were able to help minimize the likelihood that they would happen and almost stop them from happening all together. All told, these things took over five years to happen...

The biggest and most important thing we did was this (this might not apply to your situation):

After we started doing the previous, we did these other things:
  • We reduced the way "screen time" was used and modified the schedule in order to help allow focus and attention to decompress itself. This is a fancy way of saying that we started a bedtime routine that included NOT running screen time usage closer to bedtime routines.
  • We changed bedtime clothing wardrobe options as well as bedding so that everything used was only breathable fabrics. In the midst of the night terrors, we discovered that my daughter was drenched with sweat and her body temperature was unreasonably high. By ensuring that she wouldn't overheat, she seemed less likely to have night terrors.
  • We kept ice cold water (in either a drinkable vessel OR as compresses) nearby if/when my daughter would be on the verge of the night terror. We did our best to observe and time when they would start presenting and then we would try and get her to either drink the water OR we would apply the compresses to the back of her neck OR to her forehead. This helped us to wake her "system" up (and cool it down from overheating) but because of how the sleep cycle works, she would be able to comfortably go back to sleep.
  • We created movement of air in her sleeping space both with fans (yes, more than one at times) to help keep her cool at night. The white noise of the fans also helped her to sleep more peacefully. 
  • We minimized and attended to her many fears and anxieties (both legitimate and irrational) by having conversations with her regularly (at dinner time as much as other times). We did this with the help of child psychologists as well as by just spending good quality time together. Our conversations were very specifically directed by her and nothing was off the table for us to discuss. We talked about things in very kid-friendly ways as steered by the many family support professionals we partnered with.

Dealing with night terrors has required a real process of figuring things out in real time. We based all of our solutions that we found to actually work and not just once but be consistent and actually make things better over time. 

Being rid of night terror didn't require anything special, "magic," or inaccessible to most anybody. It was exhausting (both metaphorically and actually) for all of us to deal with. There were lots of actual lost nights of sleep. Still, I'm happy to report and SHARE what has worked for us and continues to work for us. Hopefully, if you are dealing with night terrors too, what we shared can help you and yours.

Unmasking the abuser

Trigger warning: Content you are about to read addresses abusive relationships and specifically domestic violence and abuse. This is a very hot button issue and some of what you read as much as what you will see (in a video) could be very triggering. If you (or someone you know) is in a situation of abuse, there is help and it is ok for you to seek it out, accept it, and move on from it into better and healthier things. 

Not gonna lie. I have really struggled with trying to write this particular blog post.

This is despite the fact that the other blog posts I have written about domestic violence and abuse (per my blog stats) are the most read and popular of all of the rest. This one specifically is one that continues to outrank everything else I have written on here.

I guess I'm glad that people are finding it and reading it and it's hitting home with others but at the same time? I just wish it never would have happened. I wish it weren't something that is such a major part of not only my life but also my child's life.




One thing that has recently helped me with my own recovery (a lot) is a TED talk that very specifically addresses, examines, and explains the intricacies and complexities of the major issues of domestic violence and abuse. Here it is... (and it's quite long and you might need to take breaks when watching it because there are a lot of things that are hard to hear from the speaker)...

TED talk: Unmasking the Abuser || Dina McMillan

One of the really major things that really resonated with me from the video was how something like domestic violence and abuse even starts. This is because (for the longest time) I have carried around a lot of shame with the fact that I even ended up in a situation the way I did.  I mean - really? Didn't I know better? Weren't there warning signs? How did I miss them all? And how/why did I stay (a little more than six years all told) in such an abusive situation for as long as I did?

This video finally articulated answers about how it even started. It's because I was groomed to be in the relationship from the get-go. (HERE is an article about such abusive behavior and HERE is another one.)

I have endured years of counseling and therapy and had years of time to reflect back and accurately remember how it all started with my ex/my daughter's father. Dina McMillan (in her video above) nailed it with the fact that my ex did this to me (classic grooming behavior).

Here are the major red flags for how abusive relationships often start:
  • Too much
    • Big promises and grandiose shows of affection that include gifts - small or large, tangible or not - and an insistence that there is "so much more" to come just "trust" them 
    • Things (whether words they say, events they plan, or private/public demonstrations of affection toward/about you) that really go over the top in the frequency that they happen because they "just can't help it."
  • Too soon
    • Almost immediately professing love and pushing for bigger commitments all while insisting that it's only happening because of some "cosmic" reason or otherwise that they might even be able to rationalize in some way, shape, or form. This sort of thing is also called Love bombing. (Here, here and here are things you can read about it.)
    • Reasons or things occurring where they insist on quickening the timeline of the relationship to happen even faster than what was originally agreed upon or what you even felt comfortable with
  • Transforming
    • Pushing for major life changes or shifts under the guise that they know better for you and they are trying to do their best for just/only you. 
    • An insistence that what you have is "special" and "just for you" and that the life you now have is almost your own personal "fairytale" come to life because you are just "that special" and "that important"
The way the relationship started with my ex? It completely adhered to the "Too much, Too soon, and Transforming" checklist. There was other stuff as well but I will save that for another blog post.

It's only now (after enduring counseling and therapy and even having third party individuals being involved to report and verify things that actually happened) that I can see things so crystal clear.

What is scarier about all of this is that in the last few months, someone took the time to try and find me because they said that my ex tried to do the same thing to them and they "hoped" that I could help them to stop him from doing it to the next person that he had recently moved on to.

Despite the fact my ex is (mostly) out of my life with my daughter, it was devastating to me to hear that he was continuing to do this to others and even had a string of other women that he was victimizing. What my ex did to me? I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.




Not gonna lie, I'm still working (every day) to heal from and move on from what I have been through.




If there is one thing that I know I can do to keep moving forward, it's that I know I can speak out about it.  It's the very reason why I established this blog to begin with. Nobody should have to go through what I did and by sharing what I do, I truly do hope that it helps somebody to either not get into the situation that I ended up in OR to recognize that they are in an abusive situation themselves and perhaps help spark in them something that will help them find help and rescue.

If you are interested in more about Dina McMillan's expertise and work or would like to read more about the topic of covert narcissistic abuse, here are some more things you can read:

  • This blog post gives a decent overview of Dina's book (as much as the video below) if you prefer to read another perspective.

#AllTheFeelsFriday: Frou Frou - Let Go

I don't remember where/when I first stumbled upon this song of Imogen Heap. There are a lot of good songs of hers to choose from. This song is one of my favorites though...

I love this song so much that a little more than three years ago, I even created a work of art because of how it inspired me. It's hard to see it but here's (kind of) what it looks like. 

I guess you could call it graphic design or digital art or something like that.

Question: It's complicated

(Answer: What exactly do you do for work?)

Blog friends, I am so incredibly tired. If it were not for the miracle that is paper planning, I would not be able to get anything done let alone maintain my sanity.

My paper planners trying to "play nicely" together. 

Yesterday, I had to take a last minute day off (from my dayjob) so that I could take care of some stuff that I will talk about at some point a lot more openly. On Monday, so... the day before yesterday, I had my planners opened up on my desk (as you see in the picture above) and one of my coworkers passed by and remarked, "Wow! That's colorful!" This is because the way I manage my time and many tasks is by color coding almost everything.

Also? Since I easily work 40+ hours over 6.5 days of any given week... it's pretty common that I might not know what day it is and I wish that I were kidding about that...


Almost all of the planner stickers (and planner "stuff") I use, I also sell from my etsy shop.

Not gonna lie, living at this pace isn't easy and it's also not for everyone. It's for this reason that I do my best to simplify just about every other area of my life so it's as straight forward and easy to manage as possible.

Case in point: my work wardrobe. I try and wear sheath dresses as much as possible because they are all one piece (and, in turn, easy to wear) and they look professional whether I am having to do work in the office or out of the office...

And the work that I do? Overall... I do a little bit of anything that I might have to.

First thing this morning, I had to do some graphic and visual design stuff for some IT stuff I have been dealing with for the last few weeks. Last week I had to do some filming and video production for some internal professional development. Later this week, I might be doing some corporate event planning for some community fundraising. At the end of the week, there is an internal training session at a local work site for professional development purposes. And all of this is in addition to me being a mom to my favorite student...

Pardon the subpar lighting. We were touring a historic location and I was trying to respect the no flash photography rules.

So... this is all (and maybe a little more that I will share at some point or another) is where I have been if/when I am not here on this blog. 

Thanks for being patient with me and the fact that I have a whole lot going on. ;)

#AlltheFeelsFriday: Flower duet - Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca (Lakmé de Delibes)

You don't have to understand what is being said in opera to truly enjoy it but know this: very much like country music, opera songs also tell stories...

This is one of my all-time favorite renditions of Lakmé, Flower duet (Duetto) by Léo Delibes that you can find online. There are other versions but I think this version is the most pedestrian (and, thus, enjoyable) for someone to start liking opera.

Good design just for your feet

Real talk about two things that can/will ruin even the best day for me: an uncomfortable pair of shoes or underwear.


Thankfully (and this is NOT a sponsored post), I think I might have finally found the holy grail of decent shoes to wear for the corporate life that I have to live at least during the business hours from Monday through Friday.

Blogfriends, the Audrey from Native shoes was finally restocked in the color I wanted and even though I have had them for maybe a week now? I wish they came in at least two other colors (warm grey and tan/nude) so that I could wear them with everything I own and also beyond my working mom life.

They are everything a shoe should be: comfortable, stylish and sophisticated, resistant to foot odors (keepin' it real, friends), and they also make me look taller and like my legs are longer the way pointed toe shoes are supposed to. (And that's why I wear pointed shoes more often)

The style of the shoe is a D'orsay flat. (Here's a more detailed write-up about the d'Orsay shoe style by Live About blog)  The name of the shoe, "Audrey," is absolutely fitting for exactly how they look when worn. I have been wearing my shoes with fitted jeans/pants and the other day I wore them with a skirt.

I've read some reviews about them - people saying they will stretch out over time but honestly? I like them so much I would even get them again if this sort of thing happened to me because that's how much I like them.