In My Bag

The month of May is filled with recognizing and bringing awareness to things like Star Wars, nurses, teachers, chocolate chips, masturbation. pets, endangered species, smiles, pizza parties, childhood poverty, mental health and much, much more. Some observances are for a day, some a week and some for a month. You can search the internet for corresponding dates and information related to each subject area that interests you.

Today is Red Nose Day (https://rednoseday.org). Last year my children and I purchased red noses from Walgreens in support of efforts to shine a light on and provide resources for children in need (https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/rednoseday.jsp ).

This year…well you know: Coronavirus.

Mental Health America (mhanational.org) provides a toolbox and information related to COVID-19 and mental health. You can be screened online and take advantage of the Toolkit they have available. A section that I can relate to, because planning and being prepared gives me peace of mind, is Realize What You Can Control. During times of chaos and uncertainty I like to surround myself with things I feel I can rely on, and I tend to focus on what I can do to alleviate, or better yet, prevent what may cause me stress or anxiety. For this purpose, I keep certain essentials on hand as well as nourish my spirit, mind, and body to be ready for whateva..

I would like to share with you what’s currently in heavy rotation in my household and/or in my “bag”:

Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (raw, cooked or juiced)

Water (Spring or filtered, not distilled or purified)

A book. I’m always reading at least one book. Right now, I’m rereading parts of Queen Afua’s Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Herbal supplements to boost and/or maintain immune health: VS-C, Trigger Immune, Defense Maintenance. (https//www.NaturesSunshine.com, using sponsor number 1049275, will allow you to create an account and be charged the discounted member price). My children and I take 2 of each, twice a day, for 12 days, twice a year. Feel free to contact me for information about how and why I take those.

Silver Shield, colloidal silver gel and liquid; better than hand sanitizer because it is not supposed to kill beneficial bacteria, which we need. Provides antiviral, antibacterial, immune support. I also use it for wound care (cuts, scrapes, burns, bites).

The other herbal supplements and essential oils pictured are used as needed for allergy related symptoms, nasal and chest congestion, insomnia, pain, headache, and muscle ache. I order from Nature’s Sunshine because I’ve used them for over 7 years, I like the promotions and discounts offered. When it comes to herbal supplements and essential oils, they are not all created equal. It’s important to know what you’re getting when you are using them topically or internally. Research the company; can you trace the origin of the products? Do you know other people that have a good history with them? Look at several reviews, from different sources.

I order my bulk herbs (for teas, rinses, herbal baths) from Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ve also purchased some of their essential oils.

I keep something to cover my head, never know when i’ll need it to add color or style, for protection (from sun, wind, debris, dust, pollen, energies) or for warmth, I can tie a head wrap but I love the convenience of being able to throw something up there like a Grace Eleyae, Ayana print Turban. (https://www.graceeleyae.com)

Masks, masks, and more masks. I have handmade by me and handmade by others masks, filtered and unfiltered masks, disposable and washable masks, adult and child sized masks, uncomfortable and not as uncomfortable masks. All masks are not created equal either. Familiarize yourself with the correct way to utilize masks and the risks of carbon dioxide toxicity from wearing them for prolonged periods of time.

My stones, of course

…and wine.

If you stay ready, you don’t need to get ready

-not me

Thump out!

Smilin’ For What

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”

Maya Angelou

I used to give my smiles away much more freely and willingly when I was a child. Compliments on it were constant. People loved to see it, so I gave them what they wanted. What they expected, whether they deserved it or not. As I aged my smile was flashed much more selectively. You had to work hard to earn a genuine one from me.

Today I smile because I’m happy with myself, at peace with my situations and content with my space. Being thankful and grateful for everything. Understanding the lessons and blessings in “good” and “bad” situations. The act of smiling actually has the ability to activate neurotransmitter and neuropeptide release. In other words, we can fake a smile and fool our body into thinking we’re in a better mood than we are, which in turn helps us feel better (fake it till you make it).

Right now, I don’t have to fake anything in that regard. These kittens that I rescued have been a source of smiles, laughs and love. I can’t help but smile, even when I’m fussing about the sneak attack of my feet as I walk through the hallway. Things you hear us (animal scientists, biologists, animal lovers) say about therapeutic affects animals/pets have on mental health conditions (stress, anxiety, depression) are true.

*May is designated as National Pet Month to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between people and their pets.

In the midst of a pandemic, complete with possible food shortages and resource scarcity, decreased employment and homeschooling, I found four new reasons to smile…

…and a month later, just when I thought my heart would explode with feline love, another kitten emerged from my shed.

Somehow, she was not detected during the kitten rescue 6 weeks ago. Not somehow, animals are resilient and have amazing instinctual abilities. My children left the shed open and I guess she thought she would make a run for it (past my dog who patrols the yard). Everything about the birth, retrieval, fostering, them surviving and thriving is a miracle. I couldn’t be happier for them to all be reunited and alive; I’m just as honored to have been chosen to be their human mother.

Their biological mother lost her life protecting them and hid them where she thought or knew they would be safe. I take my duties as caregiver extremely serious. My skills and talents of animal intensive care and my ability to administer TLC (Thumper Loving Care) have served them well. Soon, some of them will be going to new homes and I know I’ll be sad to see them leave…but for now I’m smiling.

Now, when you see my smile…

It is organic, intentional and purposeful.

I’m expressing admiration, adoration, pride, pleasure and/or love.

I’m recalling a joyous and memorable event, feeling or thought.

I’m being my true, fabulous, shining self.

I’m doing what I love.

It’s the only outlet left to allow the overflow of joy within me to show itself.

I challenge you to find 3 reasons to smile each day; morning, noon and night.

  1. My son was born today!
  2. The kittens are so cute when they’re sleep!
  3. I’m Thumper!

See, not difficult at all!!!

Take a minute, be still, look around or close your eyes and look inside . What’s the first thing that comes to mind?..be thankful for it and smile.

Smile at the Sun



As the temperature is finally starting to warm up and flowers are blooming, it’s the perfect time to get out and get some fresh air. Outside is opening up for some, however we still need to be mindful. So going outside for a walk or a hike is ideal. Plant some flowers or herbs. Create a flower bed, I’ve been think of starting one myself. It would be nice to have some sort of rose garden in the backyard. I love roses, they’re my birth flower. The other day I took the kids for a walk around the perimeter of their school. We even went to the school parking lot to let them ride their bikes around. There’s a variety of activities to do outside to get some of that good vitamin D. It’s a natural source and is necessary for us all. With consideration of individual intake to prevent any medical conditions.

Picture taken on Ko Olina beach, Oahu

“Sun salutation yoga” is a great , peaceful outdoor activity to do as well. Sun Salutation or Salute to the Sun is a graceful 12 step yoga exercise that originates from India. This particular yoga consists of poses starting from upward to downward, then finishing upward. Each pose is also coupled with a different mantra. That being of sounds not words. While embracing all of the suns rays and vitamins.

Just 5-30 minutes of sun a day can help improve your emotional well being. Increasing your serotonin levels. While elevating your vitamin D intake, you’re helping to decrease high blood pressure, improve brain function, and fighting against inflammation. Such things like weak muscles and hair/skin issues come from lack of vitamin D. However, always be mindful and wear sunscreen. And take in as much sunlight that is good for you.

⁃ Orange or Red Koi fish represent “Mother” of the family. Photo taken at the “Valley of the Temples Memorial Park”.

I’m a summer baby, so I’ve always enjoyed the warmth of the sun. The heat of the sun has almost always given me a sense of comfort as well. Its one of the many things that make me smile. On my life journey, I’ve come to realize how much of the sun is honestly necessary to not only the planet but to everyone of us.

The Sun is an alchemy symbol. Alchemy is the transformation , creation, or combination. Spiritual alchemy meaning freeing yourself from your fears, pain, unreasonable expectations etc. As you continue to travel on your own path , there may come times when you challenge your own beliefs. Question and analyze what you’ve thought you once understood. Release what no longer serves you . Then go on to create a clearer reality , so to speak. A better mental being, a better spiritual being. Now that’s just a light overview of course. 😅But just as the sun rises and sets, it’s a journey that I believe never truly ends nor should it spiritually. As we rise everyday to meet new challenges, blessings, lessons, and gifts we must also rest and embrace the beauty in that. So take a moment today and just embrace Mother Nature’s life source. And smile.

Until Next Time, E ✨🙌🏽💃🏽

Guilty Pleasure

I’m guilty, and it was pleasurable.

Some of the guilty pleasures I have be indulging in is randomly practicing cursive. It looks pretty bad at the moment, but it is getting better. I use my computer and cell phone so much that I rarely utilize my penmanship. I will say that there is something peaceful about a pen to paper interaction. It’s grounding and reminds me that I here. No crash of a hard-drive can erase this moment in time. I have to go back and dot my T’s and c dot my ‘I’s ‘and cross my ‘T’s ‘because there is no automatic system put in place to do the work for me. (mmm that was good)

“you should think about, take a second” DING (what song did this come from?)

One thing I absolutely do not miss is the indentation reflected on my finger-nail from writing. I had one ugly finger on my right hand from the pen/pencil being pushed so hard against it.

For me, physically writing gives the space to be hard on myself, to rewrite and rewrite again a word or phrase a million times because I hate the way it looks. This however, will lead to flawless penmanship… nothing to harsh, just a little self-push.

While I have been being using a lot of the left side of my brain for writing, I have also been using the right side, getting in tune with my artistic ability. Each week I have recreated at least one picture I adore by painting it on a canvas. I haven’t gotten to the point of generating an original piece just yet, but I am honing in on different techniques and my ability to drawn lines without erasing a thousand times. It’s a belief of mine that we are born artists in some shape or form. We were created to create. As we get older that gift and natural ability somehow gets suppressed. Why is that? I’m making it a point to get back in-touch with the creator that lies within me.

My favorite desert of all time is drumroll please…

CHOCOLATE-CHIP cookies fresh out of the oven. Cooked just enough to be edible. I need the whole cookie light in color and soft. It must be eaten with a spoon directly from the aluminum foil which should be folded for sturdiness, and once on the spoon, dipped into a cup a cold vanilla almond-milk (sweet or unsweet is fine) for 3 seconds. This is the only way, and I will have it no other way. I’m guilty. I have eaten a whole roll of cookies in two weeks… okay a week in a half, but I promise not to purchase any this grocery run. Plus, I’m starting to cut dairy out of my diet. The last guilty pleasure of mine I have given into is a cold glass of Michelob Ultra. I loathe the taste of liquor, and wine is for when I’m with my girls and we are chatting. Now Michelob… with 2 limes that is, is an every occasion type of drink. A movie drink, a beach drink, a nice drink before bed. I will say it does not give sexy vibes, and you immediately think beer belly but that’s why you buy cute koozies to block those negative thoughts. Shout out to my girl Diahsia for buying me the cutest one for Christmas. I am enjoying all of these “unhealthy” goodies now because when the gym opens back up I’m going hard. But until then…you know the rest my beautiful beings.

-Courtney B.

Love Yours

Lately, I’ve been trying doing a lot of thinking. I Decided not to post last week because I was was going through a little something. With Mother’s Day approaching on the 10th, I felt a wave of sadness come over me. I lost my mom five years ago February 2, 2015 and lost my grandma March 2, 2018. True heart break.

Thinking of the relationship I had with both my mom and grandma makes me feel warmth in my heart. My mom was pretty strict, but would give me just about anything I wanted. I remember going shopping with my mom and asking her to buy me this and that. When she would say NO, I’d get a little upset and for some reason she would feel bad and get me what I asked. CAN YOU SAY SPOILED!!!! Over the years I learned to be grateful of the things I was blessed with and not to get upset over the things I didn’t have. When I was in high school, my mom always made sure I had at least $40 a week for the ala cart line. She knew I didn’t care for the food in the regular line! And she was not going to see me go hungry that’s for sure. Man how lucky was I to have this woman in my life…

My grandma was literally my best friend- we had a bond that was unmatched. I could tell a joke and she would be right there laughing saying “girl get out my face acting crazy” or “go way from here” Yes “GO WAY” lol. She taught me so much. Taught me the importance of knowing how to cook for myself, cleaning, gardening, keeping it classy, being humble, and so much more.

Two of the strongest Queens raised a young Black Queen… Raised a young lady who is creative, nurturing, optimistic, and God fearing. For that, I thank them. I love them. I miss them. Although they aren’t with me physically, our relationship remains SOLID.

Love yours until the end of time.

Chavon💛

#DaughterOf

Greetings! I hope everyone had an enjoyable (whatever that means to you) Mother’s Day! I spent mine with all the children that came straight outta Thumper, my mother and my mother’s mother.

Gift to myself from myself. I never disappoint!

Here are some highlights:

I began my day outside, watering my plants and appreciating the Queen, Mother Nature. My oldest son and I did some work on a project I started Friday and had some rose tea in a mug that I’d been given by my youngest son that morning. I also received a beautiful and much needed key chain from my youngest daughter. Excuse the hair; my children made sure I knew how crazy I looked…I was experimenting.

I packed the truck up and headed to my mother’s house for a delicious breakfast prepared by both of my daughters. While breakfast was being prepared, the rest of my tribe and I put the finishing touches on one of the gifts we made for their Ma “C”.

Later that day we went to my Oma’s house to participate in the parade of visitors wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day. We practiced social distancing the best we could. Everyone was not there at once but my grandmother has 4 living daughters, 4 grand- daughters, 8 grandsons, 4 great grand-daughters, 17 great grand-sons, and the first great grand daughter will be here soon; so you can imagine the stream of company was constant.

Love was in the air and smiles were on the faces of my loved ones. I was content.

Excuse the blurry picture but it captured so well how I was and have been feeling.

I am content. The road has been rough and rocky but the rewards have been received with gratitude from not only the path I’ve walked thus far but for the path forged by my mother, and her mother, and her mother, and her mother, and hers. I cherish the time spent with those strong, wise, magical women. The priceless things they have gifted me like my eyes, nose, cheek bones, hair, maternal nature, brilliance, complexion, skills to pay the bills, spiritual guidance, ancestral connectivity.

I know that not everyone has the same opportunity to know, grow up knowing or even knowing at all of their parents or grand-parents. There are ancestors that I never met and wish I had but I also acknowledge that they are in me and I am them. In deepening the relationship, I had with my self I learned things about the women that make up ME. I catch myself saying things they’d say or doing things because I knew they would or would make me. You know many of those same things, if not all, came from the people who made them. Passed down, engrained, genetic and learned traits and characteristics that make us unique and unites us.

Whether that construct of unity is present or lacking you can always create your own family of friends and special people that nurture your growth and surround you with pure love, laughter, honesty, loyalty, kindness and genuine concern for your safety, health and well-being.  I mean if you can create your family why not make it the best. And while we’re making things, I mean if you’re ready go ahead and make an ingredient and to do list to create the right conditions for your mate to recognize you too. Don’t be surprised if, while your engulfed in self learning and self-loving behavior, you will attract what true love really is as it pertains to who you really are. I’m talking about you at the core, the you that’s deeply rooted, sometimes hidden in history and herstory, joy and pain, weeds and walls, lies and life.

Something else I did this weekend was listen to the recording of the GirlTrek organized LIVE discussion with none other than the greats Nikki Giovanni and Angela Davis. The conversation was centered around self-care and survival. In support of the #DaughtersOf Campaign…I am Altamarie, daughter of Cheryl, the daughter of Mary, the daughter of Ruby.  

Thump out!

 If you’d like to learn more about the GirlTrek Movement visit http://www.girltrek.org

http://www.girltrek.org