Category Archives: Uncategorized

Time and the Terraced Land–beloved Palos Verdes

The beauty and vistas on the Palos Verdes Peninsula are awe-inspiring and majestic.

Somehow, I don’t quite know how, a book about the Palos Verdes Peninsula titled “Time and the Terraced Land” ended up in my hands. Actually, I think it ended up in my dad’s possession when he made a visit to a brick-a-brack store when I was a teenager, I think. As an adult, I kind of lifted it from him to get more information about one of my favorite places on the planet.

If you don’t know where the Palos Verdes Peninsula is located, it’s in Los Angeles County, Calif., past Torrance and near San Pedro, Calif. 

It juts out, as peninsulas are wont to do, in the Pacific, gifting folks with extraordinarily beautiful views—especially on clear days. This particular Sunday wasn’t the clearest one, but the beauty was still extraordinary…and enough where a healthy crop of people came out to enjoy the vistas.

This land has had plenty of visits from me—from peaceful, scenic drives, to stops by the interpretive center just near the Point Vicente Lighthouse, and pauses along the pathways there to listen to the waves.

On this particular trip, I parked my rental car and walked toward the fence separating walkers, joggers and whale watchers from a precarious fall. 

A kind man named Desmond let me look through his binoculars at these lovely seals perched on a rock.

A kind man named Desmond started telling me about some seals perched on a rock near the shore. He had some really super duper binoculars and he shared some of his views with me—along with a snippet of his story…see, his wife was with one of his granddaughters. And they were at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.

In the mean time, I found out this man (hadn’t asked his name just yet) had traveled the world with the Navy, so he tells me, and was on this day out spotting sea life like dolphins (he let me look at a pod traveling north) in addition to the seals. 

He also told me that he and his wife did things differently—formerly living in a boat in the area—and that they both love to travel and she, at the tender age of 52, he tells me, decided to become a flight attendant, which fell in line with their love for travel. 

Folks had gathered there to see if they could be party, visually speaking, to migrating whale pods that move along the California shoreline during the winter months. While we didn’t have any luck with whale sightings, there was that group of dolphins we saw. Desmond engaged others who happened upon our little section of the fence, and then I noticed the group gradually grow larger as folks learned dolphins had been spotted out yonder. One of the dudes who was there with another lady and a dog estimated about 100 dolphins were swimming and leaping with the group. 

After meeting Desmond’s wife and lively granddaughter, I decided to take a walk through the interpretive center. It had been some years since my last visit. 

The center tells the story of the Palos Verdes Peninsula from prehistoric times and the indigenous people who resided there, to the era of the Ranchos in Alta California, to the history of Japanese Americans there, and the era of Marine Land, a marine zoo (akin to Sea World) which closed in the late 1980s, to the Fresnel lens of the Point Vicente Lighthouse which is on display courtesy of the US Coast Guard.

Whaling was also big business back in the day, and there’s a whaling boat as well as a display of an array of products used throughout the years that relied on parts of Baleen Whales in order to produce. From soap to toothbrushes, clothespins, and oils for various purposes.

The center also explains the dynamic nature of the peninsula, and the constant, albeit slow, movement of earth in the Portuguese Bend landslide area. The Bend is part of one of my favorite scenic routes ever, and I like to drive it when I can—just to see how the roads have changed and how much new road patching has been necessary to repair bumps and cracks that inevitably develop due to the constant movement of the earth there.

Another cool thing about the PV Interpretive Center—the awesome walking trails overlooking the ocean with a cool view of Catalina Island. That actually was two things…and the third? It’s FREE! Nothing better than the opportunity to experience grand views and learn something new for $Free.99!

That interaction was quite nice and refreshing, and here are some images from that day, as well as one of the view through Desmond’s binoculars:

Place: Point Vicente Interpretive Center

Address: 31501 Palos Verdes Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Contact: www.rpvca.gov 310-544-5375

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Get moving by getting unstuck with author Fredrick Bussey

So…who ARE you?

I can’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland—the Disney movie…and the caterpillar with the hookah…asking Alice this question while blowing smokey designs in her face.

No smoke here…but the question remains the same.  

Who ARE YOU?

What are you here to do?

What’s your gift?

No, I’m not talking about something you got for a birthday or holiday—if you celebrate those.

I’m talking about something that’s special about YOU…something that you were BORN with—that no one else can do just like you.

I’m not talking about a skill like playing an music instrument.

I’m not talking about talents either…but gifts. 

But what’s the difference, you ask?  That’s what today’s guest on Planet Noun is discussing in this episode. Fredrick Bussey also wrote a book about it. 

So let’s get right into it…he’s a dad…a speaker and entrepreneur…founder of marketing and branding consultancy IconStatus…his work? Helping brands and individuals to convey their stories with more power.

More from Fredrick Bussey author of the book “Breaking Orbit: Rip Out of the Regular by Unearthing the Power Within” on Planet Noun.

Learn more about Bussey via his social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram:

Purchase a hard or e-copy of his book on Amazon:

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Junkanoo in the Bahamas

In August of 2019 I had the opportunity to attend a wedding in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is such a beautiful vacation spot, I could not pass up the opportunity to visit this lovely island again.

I stayed at the Atlantis on Paradise Island. I wish I had more time to experience what they had to offer, but my time spent there was very enjoyable and fun.

As it turned out, Junkanoo was also being celebrated. Oh the joy! I’d told myself that I wanted to start attending Carnival and Junkanoo celebrations in the Caribbean, and look what happened.

Early morning at the Atlantis after the rain.
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What is Junkanoo?

“Junkanoo, a Bahamian national festival, is a kaleidoscope of colours and sound,” states this excerpt from the Bahamas Government website, which also summarizes the festival’s traceable origins, and evolution of its costumes.

“The rhythmic sounds of cowbells, goat skin drums and whistles, accompanied by an array of brass instruments, create a sweet musical beat that will move you; while brilliantly coloured costumes capture your eye, and bring much visual delight.  This bi-annual cultural highlight takes place on Bay Street in New Providence and other Family Islands during the early morning hours, from 1:00a.m. – 9:00a.m. on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Morning.  Junkanoo can also be experienced on many celebrated occasions such as independence Day (July 10th).  There is also a Junior Junkanoo Parade in December, held in New Providence.”

Parade route in front of the Fish Fry.

I was told by several locals that the parade in December is much bigger and that I should come back. Putting that on my bucket list. Have you ever been to any Carnival or Junkanoo celebrations in the Caribbean? Tell me about them.

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Astronomy Club aims for the stars, but they’re already there

What does it mean to be black?

To be black in America?

One thing is for sure—it doesn’t automatically mean the exact same thing across any boards. That’s what the new Netflix comedy series, “Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show,” appears to explore through clever comedy vignettes which are stitched together amid a reality show backdrop. They take the reality show format and hijinks and transform them into utter hilarity!

Each sketch is part of the thematic lattice that, as individual segments and as a whole, challenges what it means to be black and, in a not so low-key way,  asserts the oh-so-true notion that black folks in America (and anywhere) are not a monolith. 

The show takes on a range of topics through a comedic lens—from world geography to Ice Cube Day, the lunacy of some olden-day nostalgia, and the oft repeated notion that ‘black don’t crack,’ — until it does. 

There’s even a nod to a Mary Poppins who’s looking for a nanny job with a wealthy black family…and another nod to an original Twilight Zone episode–that one where a man was in a tizzy on a flight during a bad thunderstorm because every time he glanced out the window, he saw a demon on the wing…But the Astronomy Club puts a chocolate twist and some stank on it—and a little booty poppin’, too.

Each episode is roughly 20 minutes long, so the six-episode season is bingeable without decimating weekend or even weeknight plans. 

Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show was launched on December 6, 2019, and is executive produced by Kenya Barris—the creator of the hit ABC show ‘Blackish.’

The Astronomy Club is an improv sketch comedy group that was founded in 2014. Its members are Shawtane Bowen, Jon Braylock, Raymond Cordova, Caroline Martin, Jerah Milligan, Monique Moses, James III & Keisha Zollar. Read more about them on the Astronomy Club website.

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Episode 25: A skin problem + healthy solution = a skincare biz

So my sister and I met up for Essence Fest during the summer…it was the event’s 25th anniversary. And we had a BALL! We mainly went there this year for the music and the marketplace that showcased all of these black-owned and produced product.

So we were meandering through one aisle…and a gentleman approached us and started talking to us about our skin. We were both satisfied with our current products but wanted to learn more about this brand. Then he introduced us to the product line creator…who is today’s guest on Planet Noun…

So we tried the moisturizer on our hands…and were impressed with how our skin felt…supple-soft…and the product had no heavy scent…another plus for us.

Now sis and are loving Three Notes Skincare!

But how did this business get started?
Simple…It started with an issue that needed a solution.

Take a listen to Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare—on Planet Noun.

00:00—A skin problem needs a solution

24:38—The meaning of Three Notes

35:30—Good news for the company

Today’s guest—Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare. She joined me from the Memphis area. We met at Essence Fest where there were LOTS of quality products for sale in their marketplace at the convention center in New Orleans.

Learn more about Three Note Skincare and purchase products on the Three Notes website.

And on social media:

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Additional Links

Here are some other products and sites Tanzania mentioned during out chat:

Doughful website: An online marketplace for folks who create doughful deserts to those who plan events where such artfully crafted treats are served up and eaten. Learn more on the Doughful website: https://www.doughful.com

The Pupp Cleanse
This book sparked from the time when Tanzania got a rash after the birth of one of her children. She developed an intense rash and chronicles the process she used to eradicate hers.

As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases

http://www.pupppcleanse.com

Three Notes on Essence.com



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Helper’s heart + determination w/ Deia Davis-Williams of ExquisteM PR

Life can abound with various challenges, but it’s up to us to take that stuff and make it into something better.

There are some folks in this universe who, despite challenges, imagine how they’d like life to look. Then they plan and move boldly in the direction of those dreams.

My next guest is one of those beautiful humans.

Deia Davis-Williams and I go way back to college. We’ve been connected on social media, but and saw each other in person for the first time in YEARS in New Orleans as Essence Fest was wrapping up. It was the first time at Essence Fest for either of us. Shoutout to Essence for such an awesome, affirming event!

Deia is a publicist…and founder of ExquisteM Public Relations. She’s also in law school and is very specific about her goals and the impact she wants to have in the African-American community.

Take a listen to this driven sister’s story…On Planet Noun.

00:00—Deia’s organic road to becoming a publicist.

04:35—The role family plays in the ExquisteM brand

10:20—How she knows the law path is right for her and for giving back to her community

38:15—So who are some of her clients? You know I TRIED to find out…

39:02—How Deia rolls when she walks into a room when there aren’t many people like her present

Read more at https://planetnoun.com

Learn more about Deia—on social media:

Instagram

On IG you can follow her hashtag #exquistlyhandled

And connect via Facebook

Thanks for listening to this episode featuring Deia Davis-Williams of public relations firm ExquisteM! Quite a few nuggets to remember in each episode… A key from this one to remember: Set clear goals, and if you want to reach them, figure out a way do so with persistence, honest hard work and integrity.


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Episode 23: Single, childless aunties—a family staple

It’s always exciting when a new episode drops…this one is no exception.  It’s the second of two collaboration episodes with Liliana and Tamara of Barely Bougie Mamas—a podcast that was released during the summer.

If you haven’t heard last week’s episode, take a listen after you get through with this one.  

So Barely Bougie Mamas is a podcast featuring Liliana and Tamara—two moms who grew up in poverty—but have crafted lives for themselves and their kids that are totally different from their own upbringings…and all of the funnies and concerns that stem from those differences. 

My sister Lea and I joined them at Liliana’s home in Southern California for some kiki-ing and questions.  

Last week, we talked about some of their experiences growing up vs. how their kids are growing up.  

And this week, Liliana, Tamara, My sister Lea and I talk about something Le-Le and I know…being single, childless aunties….And the role all aunties play in the family fabric. Whether they’re linked by bloodlines or play aunties that are for real-real with their care, concern and involvement. 

So let’s get to it with the Barely Bougie Mamas and Planet Noun: 

Topics and timecodes:

03:13—Dealing with annoying comments like “You’re not married? You don’t have kids? And you’re HAPPY?” (Answer: Hell to the yes! Contented, single and childless women do exist, they’re real people) 

08:55—Aunties to O.P.K.-Other People’s Kids

10:19—The Sister-in-Law Co-Parent (Tamara says don’t skip your visitations) & the Auntie Posse 

14:15—Unmarried Aunties, do you realize your importance (and not just for babysitting)?

17:30—Liliana’s experience as a single, childless auntie 

21:28—The fun auntie

24:10—Deadbeat godmamas 

29:32—An auntie’s listening ear

35:05—Forging the relationship with a potential auntie in your life

If this is the first time you’ve heard of them, they have several episodes already released…12 of them…13 including this one. 

Listen to Barely Bougie Mamas on Anchor FM.

They’re also on Apple Podcasts.

And Spotify

Find them on Instagram

And Auntie Lea, my special guest on Instagram.


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Episode 22: A chat (& many laughs) with Barely Bougie Mamas

I’m always excited when a new episode comes out…this one is no exception.  It’s one of two back-to-back collaboration episodes we’re dropping today and next Thursday. Planet Noun’s first collaboration ever—and it’s with Liliana and Tamara of Barely Bougie Mamas—a podcast that was released during the summer.. 

A capsule-sized explanation of their show—it’s about two moms who grew up in poverty—but have crafted lives for themselves and their kids that are totally different from their own upbringings…and all of the funnies and concerns that stem from those differences. 

My sister Lea and I joined them at Liliana’s home in Southern California for some ki-ki-ing and questions.  

A little background…Tamara and I met the afternoon this was recorded…But she’s listened to some Planet Noun episodes, and I’ve listened to Barely Bougie Mamas shows. 

Liliana and I grew up together. My sis and I have known her for years.  Matter of fact, we go so far back, I don’t remember WHEN we met.  My mom says it was at church when we were wee children who were sat in the class for babies, toddlers and under fivers. We used to sit next to each other and suck our thumbs, mom said.

That’s enough intro!  There’s cussing in this episode. You’ve been warned…now listen in! 

1:32 — How Tamara and Liliana met, then  learned they had things in common

20:22—Dealing with bullies

21:03—Snitching then and now

30:09—Street sense

41:55—Whose kids are more bougie?  Tear-jerking experiences with their children

51:13—What to expect from Barely Bougie Mamas podcast

If this is the first time you’ve heard of them, they have several episodes already released…12 of them…13 including this one. 

Listen to Liliana and Tamara, the Barely Bougie Mamas, on Anchor FM

They’re also on Apple Podcasts

And Spotify

Find them on Instagram

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Ghosted? Mourn @ a Funeral with author Lenina Mortimer

Sometimes romantic relationships SUCK.
Especially when they run off the rails…whether it be from growing differences between relatants or if someone just up and decides they don’t want you anymore, but they don’t bother to tell you about it.

Basically—when someone ghosts you.

Today’s guest experienced ghosting…she was the ghostee—if you will. Old boy turned her loose, but didn’t verbally communicate that to her—and wouldn’t communicate with her as she tried to get to the bottom of things.

So Lenina Mortimer wrote a book about it—to help someone else along the ghastly breakup recovery path.

Take a listen to Lenina Mortimer, author of the book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”

Let’s get this mourning in motion…On Planet Noun.

1:50—Getting the un-holy ghost(ting)

3:09—Discovering the root of dysfunctional relationships

6:24—Creating the Breakup Funeral

14:51—Timing: When is it best to hold a breakup funeral?

19:20—Why separation is healthy after a breakup/Why the Breakup Funeral is a communal experience

25:54—Running into the ghosted

30:09—A love letter to black women

35:32—Self-care is crucial to breakup recovery

38:50—Steering clear of breakup traps

41:31—To forgive or not to forgive?  And when? 

Get your e-book copy

Find out more about Lenina Mortimer and her work! Let’s start with a link to her e-book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”

Lenina’s also on social media. You can learn more about her coaching services there.
Facebook
Instagram

And one thing she mentioned during the show—the Via Character Strengths Survey. Listen to learn how and why she uses this survey in her work.


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QFBR: Trail Of Echoes by Rachel Howzell Hall

There’s a neighborhood in the dusty corners of the ‘hood, not terribly far from where the rich people live, where too many young teen girls have gone missing lately.

Then it happens—again.

This time, it’s 13-year-old Chanita Lords who has vanished from a neighborhood in Los Angeles known as The Jungle.

It’s another case that strikes Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton in the heart and gut because she grew up in that neighborhood. Norton also recently solved the case of her long-missing older sister Tori, whose bones had finally been discovered at a shopping plaza not far from where she was last seen all those years ago–part of the scant remnants of her last living day. Tori had been literally under their noses, yet just beyond reach.

So Lou takes another trip down memory lane to The Jungle, and to a family that still lives in the same apartments where Lou and her family used to reside.

Part of her walk includes revisiting and reuniting with families whose members were problematic on the bullying front back in the day. Now, it appears that foul attitudes and bullying jackassery were passed down to the next generation.  

Lou manages to balance, though not always seamlessly, her unwavering dedication to police and detective work to keep other girls like Chanita from being snatched–while knowing how folks in her old neighborhood feel about the police and understanding why they do.

As part of the murder mystery backdrop, Rachel Howzell Hall continues to weave in relational dynamics between the characters in Lou’s life. From the ultra-tense sentiments she harbors toward her dad who ditched their family and is trying to make amends, to the tensions that arise based on cultural and environmental differences between the way Lou was raised and how her partner, Colin Taggert, grew up in Colorado.

But they still work well together as partners in crime solving, along with the other members of the homicide team. Part of the relational story includes a coming out and its aftermath between two longtime friends, and Lou’s attempts to juggle work and kind-sorta-but-not-really-but-still-kinda-sorta blossoming relationship with an Assistant District Attorney who seems like a great guy. 

As for the murder mystery, Howzell Hall‘s writing, as always, keeps me guessing. Who are the main suspects? What’s up with the three mean hood chicks who lived in the same apartment complex as Chanita? Did they carry out one of those Lifetime-esque jealous cheerleader-type of murders and dump the body in a nearby park? What about the mom who had a roughneck boyfriend? The convicted pedophile who lived nearby? The girl’s counselor at school? Some of her schoolmates? Who, what-the-what, when, where, how and why?

Who killed Chanita and tried to deter investigators by injecting bug repellent into her thighs?

Who’s sending the ciphers and other mysterious notes? Who killed AGAIN? Is this a serial killer?  What about the other missing girls? Who, when, where, what-the-what? How and WHY?

Well, that’s about all I can say without saying too much. But yes, is a page-turner!  And I’m so gratified that I guessed the right killer! But the detectives thinning the field did make it easier, though.

To find out more, check out this read— Trail of Echoes. It was published in 2016.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

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