Beauty in Nature

I am sharing a few photos with you from my trip to Charlotte, NC to spend the night with my best friend. We stayed in mostly, and only ventured out for a short trip to the store and then to a greenhouse/nursery on Sunday morning. We donned our masks and social distanced ourselves from other shoppers and viewers of the beauty before us all. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.

Peace lily
Blue-green: succulents
Part of my best friend’s collection. She’s got her own little nature sanctuary all throughout her home.
Isn’t this a beauty?!
Hoyas

She Could Never Be My Superhero

A Free Verse Poem

I’d been laying my problems at her feet
only upon her request and even then,
I’d been careful — didn’t reveal too much,
didn’t let her tap-dance her way into 
the depths of me. 
I know what to say and when and how to 
say it in order to fill the mind with
the info it needs to keep it 
yearning for more.

A tablespoon here, a teaspoon there, 
she feasted on parts of me no one else
could ever fetch and since she was willing
to swim in the deep end, I showed her what
those waters had in them.
You find out how sincere a person is
when you shed some skin in their presence.
You learn just how devoted
they are when shit hits the fan.

Not everyone is built to carry your
burdens — not everyone is made to 
honor your suffering. 
You are your own warrior and your
battles are yours and yours alone.
The war created for you is meant for
you to fight, so when someone says
they can go to war for you, make sure
they have enough ammunition.

The back and forth of growing into
a new age in life can be exhausting.
40 isn’t 30 and 30 wasn’t 20, and
you find yourself looking back on those
times trying to pull any memories 
catered to your current hell, 
but none of them seem quite as
close to your now.

So, what can you do when that
friend still wants the deepest parts
of you even when you’ve tried
your best to be careful?
You step back, take a bigger view of
your surroundings, then make sure
your perception of you doesn’t 
overshadow what they truly see.

Then, you tell them, “I’m not looking
for anyone to save me. I’m looking
for someone to stand by me when
I need them, Nothing more. Nothing less.”

And if they stick around — if they still
want to stick around after that, a superhero
you do not have — you have love . . . 
the kind of love that lends itself
in the midst of broken hearts and
shattered dreams, and a botched election,
and a big ass baby’d man who’d cry if
his way isn’t the only way . . .

What you have is someone you
can depend on — someone loyal enough
to keep spoonfeeding bits
of you to.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium.

30 Things My Dog Probably Says About Me Behind My Back

That is, if she could talk.


Jernee: aka, The Boss; aka, J-Nasty; aka, Jern-Jern; aka The Princess; aka, The Little Monster, etc. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Pet owners: I’m pretty sure you have your very own thirty things and we’d probably swap stories and laugh hysterically about the ways of our non-human friends/family. Feel free to share a few in the comments if you want to.

  1. Human . . . I expect dinner promptly at 5:30 pm, there should be no deviation from this plan.
  2. That place that you go to every day in the morning and come back much later in the day, what shall I call it?
  3. While you were gone, I ate the crumbs on the floor you thought you brushed “off” the counter and into the cleaning cloth.
  4. Remember that one time you asked me if I liked the new grain-free food you bought me?! Do you recall my reaction, how I dove into the bowl as if I’d not eaten before? Well, I faked it.
  5. There’s this thing that rings loudly while you’re away. How can we make that not happen?
  6. Every time Nana visits, she sits in my favorite spot on the couch. I don’t like that.
  7. Why does she have to visit us anyway? Don’t you visit her enough now?
  8. I think you should warn me about bath-time, preferably a week in advance. I need time to evade this entire process.
  9. I’m not religious. You know that, right? God or mercy or hallelujah should never be in our discussions. I’m just sayin’.
  10. What’s this thing about “voting” I keep hearing on the radio? Is this something you’re going to do?
  11. If you are, will they pay you for it? I need more treats. Prioritize. Monetize this vote thing. Treats are important.
  12. Okay. You’ve seen Shrek 378 times already. That’s enough.
  13. The same goes for Finding Nemo.
  14. Auntie hasn’t been here in a while, neither has Nala. Did I do something? Did YOU do something? It’s always you. Yes, let’s go with that. Did you do something, human?
  15. You like to tell me not to drool on the couch, but please recognize how that’s not working out for you. Do I tell you not to drool on your pillows?
  16. Crushed ice is my favorite snack. More crushed ice, please.
  17. It’s been a while since we’ve had a daddy or another mommy around. What’s the holdup, human?
  18. I mean, I’m trying to gather all the attention I can. Are you keeping this from happening?
  19. The Vet . . . That’s one place I’d like not to go to anymore.
  20. If there’s any way we can make that happen, I’ll be happy about it. Tell them I’m good — we shouldn’t have to pay for pre and post-excellence. Let’s face it, I’m both. Save your money.
  21. Think of the treats.
  22. When you say things to me and you think I don’t understand what you’re saying, I’ve news for you, I do. I’m just ignoring you.
  23. Do we have new neighbors? I hear strange noises while you’re away.
  24. What’s with the burning of all the candles? And the sage?
  25. It’s been 5 minutes since you rubbed my belly or scratched behind my ears. Let’s change that.
  26. I’m not eating my food because I noticed yours smells much better.
  27. Yes, that’s right . . . Pick up my poop! Good human.
  28. No, I don’t like this taking pictures of me all the time thing. Stop it.
  29. When you take my collar off, it’s like you’re removing a piece of me. My identity shifts. How’d you like to have your identity shifted?
  30. NO, I WILL NOT STOP BARKING AT THE NEIGHBOR’S DOG! I’M PROTECTING US!

Bonus: I really do love you. That, I’m not faking.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

Celebrating New Life During COVID-19

Thanks to the digital world, it isn’t that hard.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash

During this season of Coronavirus, COVID-19, my father’s side of the family has two new members. Two of my first cousins have welcomed baby girls within nine months of each other. The first was born in January of this year and the second was born during this month, October. For my baby cousin born this past January, I had planned to visit my hometown of Savannah, Georgia in mid-March, but that is when this global pandemic showed us what it could do and the first round of restrictions was put in place not too long after.

I am fond of new life. I am a fan of witnessing the births of babies and showering them with trinkets and necessities upon their arrival. Being that I am five hours away from my hometown, traveling home was always a one to two times per year investment, however, those tables have turned drastically. I have not or will probably not be home for the foreseeable future which cuts me out of witnessing the growth of these two bundles of joy unless . . . it’s through digital devices and photographs.

I am blessed to be able to watch various stages of each take form by way of digital media or hear about their constant shifts in life through the voices of their parents. Had this not been a resource to use, I would be completely in the dark. And I don’t think I’d like that at all.

As much as I appreciate the gift of new life, giving birth during a global pandemic–must be five times more stressful than without one. I have so many questions for women who are pregnant or those new to motherhood. How did you manage to stay safe? What additional precautions are you taking/have you taken? What will you do to ensure your newborn doesn’t contract the Coronavirus, COVID-19? Will you allow any family to visit and if so, whom?

Rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates do not appear to be affected by mode of delivery, method of infant feeding, or contact with a mother with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. All neonates born to mothers with suspected or confirmed infection should be considered as having suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection when test results are not available.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 3, 2020.

Hospitals and outpatient facilities in most states test their patients prior to any invasive procedures or surgeries, so it’s safe to assume that any woman going into labor has been tested prior to delivery and will be tested again before leaving the hospital. All precautions are in place for both baby and new mom, but how can we be sure?


You can read the rest of the article at Thrive Global, here. If you like the article, please recommend it by clicking on the little heart at the bottom of the post. Thank you for reading.