Category Archives: Things

Buttery ways to heal the skin you’re in

Screenshot of  http://biggsandfeather.com homepage

Big-ups to Biggs and Featherbelle!

They saved my skin!  Literally… Okay, their products helped restore a patch of skin to its former glory.  As much glory as palm-of-hand skin can achieve.
Something went awry when I was visiting my folks a few years ago.  I was glancing at my hands one spring afternoon, and noticed my skin birthing a flake inside my left hand between my thumb and index finger.

What the what? I thought, picking at it.  Ehhhh, nothing much there, ’twas only dry skin.  I left it alone.  After I got back to the East Coast, that spot on my hand started flaking more.

Whatever, I thought.  Lotion to the rescue!  I massaged and rubbed that stuff several times a day.

Only it didn’t help.  Not only did it not help, my skin got worse. It started looking slightly inflamed and purple-ish.
What the WHAT?
I told my mom.
I told my sister.
I asked the Internet.
I asked friends.

“Go to a dermatologist,” some recommended.  Sure, that makes since, because… skin.  And something was obviously wrong with my left hand’s epidermis.

So I went, was handed an eczema diagnosis for that patch of skin, was gifted steroid samples which whipped that hand back into shape real quick.  Relief!

However, when I stopped using it, the irritation revved up again, with a vengeance— wheelies and all.

This is a bunch of foolishness, I thought.  Nothing is working.  So I  returned to searching the only bastion of earth’s certainties: The Internet.
“Natural remedies for eczema,” I Googled, Binged, maybe even Netscaped.
Then this brilliant idea popped into my head:  Shea Butter!
But where would I buy it?  Didn’t know, so I asked the Internet for help.

THAT’S how I met Biggs and Featherbelle products.

They’re based in Baltimore, Md., and are sold in a slew of stores locally and elsewhere; according to their website it’s 33 states and the District of Columbia.

I also started using Shea Moisture soaps, and soaps from Trader Joe’s, stopped using my hand soap and traded it for one of these natural bar soaps.  When I showered or washed my hands throughout the day, I massaged a bit of Biggs and Featherbelle’s scented seasonal Shea butters or cocoa/shea butter combos into the irritated patch on my hand.

These products, especially the Shea and cocoa butter products,  were the things that gave my skin much relief.  That patch healed itself when nothing else worked, thanks to nature’s enabling emollients.

This is my Day 10 post for the 30 Day Writing Challenge in the Speak Write Now Community

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Free fun, exploration to bookend National Park Week 2017

Prehistoric granaries along the Colorado River above Nankoweap in Marble Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park. NPS photo by Mark Lellouch.

Mark this event on your calendar, because it spans “from sea to shining sea.” National Park Week is your chance to partake in some of the United States’ national treasure sites, from beautiful natural locales, to spaces where a nation grappled over its past and its future, and pathways tread by those who sought liberty.

National Park Week runs April 15-23, 2017.

Visitors can enjoy free entry at every national park during the weekends that bookend National Park Week: April 15-16 and 21-23.

If you live in or are planning to visit Washington D.C., a newly restored National Historic Site will be open to peruse during the final weekend of National Park Week: The home of Carter G. Woodson, the man known as “The Father of Black History.” In 1915, Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History which is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Woodson purchased and lived in his home on 9th Street, Northwest near Q Street from 1922 until his death in 1950. Negro History Week, the precursor of Black History Month, was also established in 1926 while he lived and worked in this home.

The first of a three-phase revitalization project was being completed as Black History Month 2017 drew to a close.

“I know there was a significant amount of work done,” says Carter G. Woodson Home superintendent Tara Morrison.

Morrison says all of the bricks on the home’s facade were taken out, identified by location and catalogued. They were then repaired and placed in their original locations. Historic moldings, frames and decorative pieces were also removed, repaired an replaced. During the first phase of the restoration, fixing structural damage from natural happenings, such as the 2011 earthquake, were a first phase priority. Exhibit development and interpretation will happen during the next two phases.

Not only was the process of structural restoration a painstaking one, but Dr. Woodson painstakingly worked to increase popular consciousness about African American history, work which happened in this home on 9th Street, NW.

Woodson historian and author Pero Dagbovie describes it as a clearing house of historical information about black people.

“He would ship things to people throughout the country who would write him asking for materials on black history. Of course, it wasn’t like things are today where you can just go on the Internet and download anything you want. He singlehandedly launched this movement from this space…”

Dr. Woodson dedicated his life to this mission.

“I mean on average, they say he worked about 18 hour days and didn’t sleep a whole lot, and committed his entire life to popularizing and legitimizing the study of black history at a time when African American history in the broader American society and academy was not seen with great respect, and he used to refer to this movement, this black history movement as a life and death struggle, literally,” Dagbovie says.

Dr. Woodson’s home will be open on April 21-23, the final days of National Park Week. Space is limited. Call (202) 690-5152 to make a reservation, or visit the Carter G. Woodson Home site for more information.

MAP:

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Five things you MUST know about Greenleaf 2.3

There’s this scene:

  1. Grace Greenleaf morphs into a vandal.  Has this child lost her ever-loving mind? Or her ever bat swinging mind? Must be the case. Because why is she doing steak-outs at Uncle Mac’s apartment and watching him closer than a hawk in the sky?
  2. Kevin has a mother.  And hallelujah!  His backstory is unfolding! His mom pays a visit and brings her brand of drama to the Greenleaf dining table.  She’s felt out the loop because Kevin kept putting her off when she wanted to know Charity’s due date.  She eventually found out Kev had been living in a hotel. Kevin didn’t spell out why, but his mom seemed to grasp it quickly.  “Oh,” she said.  ”There it is.” There what is?  What is this IT of which she speaks?  Makes me wonder if she had an inkling he’s gay.  If that’s the case, did she try to talk him out of it?  Did she try to do what he’s trying to do to himself right now?  Try to talk him out of being gay?  Who knows. But I want to find out!  Oh, and Ipecac syrup plays a role in this storyline.
  3. Zora has a thing for that Isaiah Hambrick singing dude.  The same dude Sofia told her she’s crushing on.  Apparently Zora’s crushing on him, now.  The child’s phone is even blowing up with texts from this dude. She’s sitting with Sofia for lunch, and of course Sofia wants to know why her cousin is giggling like the schoolgirl she is. Poor Sophie. She isn’t happy her cousin is in good with Isaiah, but still takes one for the team and covers for Zora when the child sneaks away from a youth meeting to hang with Hambrick.
  4. Back to Grace.  She’s still obsessing over Uncle Mac. Who wouldn’t? He raped her sister who committed suicide as a result. The man raped other girls and is STILL not in prison. Shooooot. Someone crazier than Grace might’ve done more than bust the windows out [of] his car.
  5. Kerissa may have met her match at throwing shade.  Her name is Tasha Skanks, first lady of Triumph Church.  To her credit, Tash was trying to be friendly and helpful to Kerissa.  But K is a do-it-yourself kind of woman, and she rebuffed all Tasha’s efforts to help decorate the parsonage, shop for clothes, do girly-girl things. So she broke the news about Zora’s galavanting away from the youth meeting.  She didn’t want to make it sound as if Kerissa can’t control her daughter, she said.  Then she extended another offer (with a light dusting of shade) to help Kerissa keep an eye on her daughter.
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Lady Mae cans choir director, tension between cousins begins burble

First of all, Lady Mae is going after Carlton. But it’s not because he’s gay.   That doesn’t mean she’s on the right side of wrong, though.

Meanwhile, I predict some boy-related tension is about to go down between Sofia and Cousin Zora. Sofia likes this young singer at Triumph Church, and Zora’s coaching her on ways to get his attention. But when they go watch Isiah Hambrick rehearse, he bores his attention into Zora as if awkward Sofia doesn’t exist.

Continue reading Lady Mae cans choir director, tension between cousins begins burble

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Lawd, them Greenleaves are back with tawdry church drama to boot!

At the final scene of season 1, Uncle Mac’s still a cad. And he’s fresh out of jail. Poppa Greenleaf is still struggling with his disease and trying to hide it… I think it’s Parkinson’s. But the cops come for his ass as they drop Uncle Mac off at the mansion doorstep. They warn Pastor to stick around town. Why? Because he’s accused of being complicit in the death of a church caretaker who died in a fire at an early church Bishop ran during the 1980s. Lady Mae’s father (who is also a cad we’re learning) told Grace that fire wasn’t an act of God as had been previously thought. Some Johnny struck a match but the match DIDN’T go out.

Continue reading Lawd, them Greenleaves are back with tawdry church drama to boot!

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Celebrating music and stories that changed America

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Museum of History and Culture opened with lots of fanfare in September.

Tonight… a two-hour star-studded show to celebrate what the museum is about. A conversation about tonight’s show with Tasha Coleman, Senior Manager of Counsel Relations and Special Initiatives at the museum.

A preview of tonight’s extravaganza

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Flynn’s in his feelings, saves a life on this week’s Timeless

What are Garcia Flynn and Anthony after? Wish I knew. All I know is they travel through time to stop Rittenhouse from being able to… Not sure. But the writers keep throwing bread crumbs each week. Seems our villains—who might be our heroes, but seem really dastardly right now—don’t want Rittenhouse to learn how to travel through time.


Our villains might be our heroes, but seem really dastardly right now


In this week’s episode, they’re in 1969, trying to make sure Flynn doesn’t thwart the first moon landing.

He doesn’t, and our heroes manage to save the day yet again.

Viewers can’t expect to gain tons of new knowledge about Flynn’s motives, outside of him wanting to stop Rittenhouse from learning secrets of time travel. However, this episode reveals more learn about Flynn’s family background.

Flynn ends up meeting his mom, then a young widow who also worked as a secretary for an aerospace company. By the time Flynn is born, she’s an engineer. He tells her, after giving his mom’s son a shot in the arm, he remembers her as a sad woman, and he wants to make her life happier.

That shot? Saved his half-brother who was going into anaphylactic shock—the same day as the first moon landing. According to Flynn’s recollection of history, his half brother who died before Flynn was born. Flynn saved him that day and somehow ends up curing the boy’s allergic reaction to bee stings. When our heroic trio return to the present, that boy is now a man—living in Paris.

Meantime, Rufus doesn’t like the person he’s becoming as a result of these time hopping excursions. For the first time, he killed a man and didn’t feel anything about it. But before that, he was in nerd-man’s heaven with all his heroes doing their thing in mission control that day. (By the way, I consider “nerd” a compliment.)

This week’s episode also gave a long-overdue nod of recognition to NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations were instrumental to some of the agency’s groundbreaking missions.

This week’s episode here:

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Secrets escape the bag and big decisions—This Is Us Episode 8

This is Us. A show that’s remarkably human.

In previous episode I didn’t recap…

Beth finds out Rebecca met William years ago. She learned this while she and William got high off some “adult brownies.”

Toby is grubbing down his spaghetti. Talking about what they’ll do in New York for the part of Thanksgiving holiday. Kate tells Toby the trip for both of them is a no-go because he’s chucked the diet and now Kate’s chucking him.

Kevin pretty much gave Olivia a rundown of his life. She intimated she felt he was from a typical bland middle-class family. “Wonder Bread,” she called it.

Yeah. They’re anything but that.

Continue reading Secrets escape the bag and big decisions—This Is Us Episode 8

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Timeless Episode 7: Stranded in the past, Chocodiles and returning trust

They’re stuck. In 1754. Around the time of the French and Indian war. Some of Garcia Flynn’s henchmen put explosives on the Lifeboat, the prototype time machine that our main characters need to get back to the 21st century. The henchies were going to blow it up, but Wyatt gets their attention to try and stop them. Wyatt shoots one henchie to death, but another shoots at one of the explosives attached to the mothership.

It’s damaged, the henchmen leave, and Lucy, Rufus and Wyatt are stuck.

Rufus runs down possible ways to fix the machine… then remembers he may not have to. There’s “The Protocol.”

It involves digging a hole three feet in front of the Lifeboat and burying a message on special paper that’s sealed in a special, environmentally-unfriendly capsule.

They bury this message so folks in the future can find it. Then they get to moving… walking. And walking. And more walking. They find a dead soldier and get caught by Shawnee.

They’re in captivity and Rufus makes me wonder where he grew up because he starts talking about how he’s craving Chocodiles!!!! I ain’t neva heard any character talking about Chocodiles. I used to grab one on the way or from school every now and again. They cost a quarter back in the day.

Lucy geeks out when the chief walks in, because this tribe is run by

via GIPHY

A woman! And she doesn’t trust the English-speaking white folks.

They’re about to kill Lucy and Wyatt but not Rufus. Why? Because he didn’t have a choice to be there… he was forced. She assumed Rufus was a slave. Of course, he isn’t, but he really didn’t have a choice because he was the only person who can pilot the Lifeboat. Anyway, the chief wanted to kill Lucy and Wyatt because they, according to her words, chose to be there.

Rufus comes to their rescue, like the magical negro he is, and says if they kill Lucy and Wyatt, they’ll have to kill him, too.

So the tribal leader agrees to spare them all because of Rufus’ honor, but if they act shady, she promises to kill them all.

Back in the future, the feds and folks from Mason Industries are digging up someone’s yard in a suburban Pittsburgh neighborhood. The Feds cleared the whole block by saying Zika-infected mosquitoes were found nearby.

They excavate and eventually find a capsule with the paper Rufus buried inside. Only the capsule is cracked and the special paper has partially disintegrated from time’s wear and tear.

So how will they get home? Well, unless the show arc is about to take a sharp turn to the who-knows-where, I assumed they’d figure out a way to get the trio back home.

They did.

You’ll find out when you watch that episode.

One thing to note: All of the angst and mistrust that Rufus, Lucy and Wyatt waded through in the Watergate episode was resolved, it seems. And they all acknowledged the reasons behind each other’s desires… Their pilot doing whatever it takes to keep his family safe, to also keep Rufus from selling out to Rittenhouse (Wyatt threw the recorder Connor Mason gave Rufus in some large swampy-looking hole), to bring back Lucy’s sister, and prevent Wyatt’s wife from getting killed.

Oh, and they made history, too.

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From coonskin caps to leisure suits: Timeless and the Watergate

So the crew bounces from The Alamo to the leisure-suit 70s, but not before we get a glimpse inside Rufus’ life.

He’s at home. His mother tells him about a game Rufus missed. His athlete brother missed a shot at the final buzzer, and was a little despondent about it. Rufus apologies for missing the game, but his mom says they both understood because he (Rufus) is working so hard for his family. Apparently he’s making bank and used his earnings to buy them a nice pad.
But Connor Mason shows up to their home with the Rittenhouse man…the same man who Rufus encountered on the street one night after his car konked out. Thanks to a Rittenhouse initiated hack. See, that happened after Rufus told Connor he wasn’t going to spy on his time traveling partners anymore.
Yeah. They stopped his car AND threatened his family the way men and suits do. They didn’t state it outright, but we all knew if Rufus didn’t feign cooperation his fam would be done for.
So or kept spying on them.
But in this episode all the secrets come spilling into the open. Including Lucy’s chats with Garcia Flynn.
But they both discover Rittenhouse is a name they have in common. And Wyatt discovers they’ve both been lying to him. And they all discover they have secrets. I think this includes Wyatt, whose motivation for time travel could be to make sure he alters events so his wife isn’t murdered. Wyatt also learns, from Flynn, about a diary Lucy has written… although she hasn’t yet written it… that talks about Wyatt’s obsession with his wife’s death.

This week’s location: Washington D.C. Watergate. Rittenhouse wants what’s still a mystery today… an 18 1/2 minute gap in a taped conversation between then-president Nixon and H.R. “Bob” Haldeman.

They also want some document… that turns out to be a “who.” A person they want Rufus to get rid of, but instead he helps to flee. The Doc knows all names of Rittenhouse member as by heart. And she’s been hiding out with the black liberation front.
Funny moment. Rufus finds their location with Lucy, but this time, she’s the odd one out. Instead of Rufus waiting outside in the 1930s with folks looking at him like he’s suspect, it was Lucy’s turn. And Rufus returned her advice. “Try not to make any eye contact.”

The full episode here and at NBC.com’s Timeless page:

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