Archive for November, 2012

Flights of Fancy

Yesterday this picture was posted  on The Swirl World Facebook page, and it just tickled my fancy.

Superman and Lois Lane, indeed! 

I wonder what each one is thinking????

Join in the Fray: How would you caption this photo?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 30, 2012 at 8:35 AM Leave a comment

How to be Wild and Woolly

Ever feel like your life has gotten a little too humdrum and predictable? Ever want to break out of an self-inflicted molds, defy your own conventions and norms, and otherwise shock the heck out of the people who think they know you best?

(People like my Mother – but shhh! I’m not supposed to write about her!)

I mentioned Monday that my technical difficulties threw a serious monkey wrench in my Cyber Monday plans. Alas, poor me – I was only able to snag one item. Not just any old item, mind you.

MAC’s Grey Friday.

When I first viewed it on the Temptalia website (and shout out to make-up maven extraordinaire, Christine Mielke who runs that awesome beauty blog), I was drawn by the seeming contradiction of the fierceness and awfulness of this product.

Think about it: Grey . . . . lipstick

Fierce . . . . and . . . . awful.

I had to have it.

Thankfully I was able to snatch it up (which, unbeknownst to me at the time, would be my final act before my computer and my phone decided to go on vacation without informing me).

This fiercely awful lipstick represented an escape from my normal make-up looks; my ticket out of the boundaries of what I formerly deemed good taste. 

Grey Friday was to be the vehicle I used to go way, way, WAY out there: My chance, Ladies and Gentlemen, to walk on the wild side.

To go out into the light of day (actually, night) in all my goth and glory.

To be wild. And woolly. 

And fierce.

Wanna know how to be wild and woolly?

Step out of the boxes that you have created. Do something that is wildly and wonderfully different from  those things that constitute your normal. Something that, if your friends and family see you do it – or see you in it – their sensibilities and preconceived notions of who “you” are will be utterly and totally shattered.

 Go ahead, do it!  Be wild and woolly.

I dare you.

Join in the Fray: What can you do (or wear) to be wild and woolly? Tell me about it!

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

 

November 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM 3 comments

Good People – Bad Choices

Join in the Fray: Do “good” people really make “bad” choices? 

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

November 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM Leave a comment

The Reconnection

I’m not going to say the technical difficulty I’ve experienced for the past few days was this serious, but to have your phone and your lap top going on strike at the same time can leave a girl feeling a bit . . . well . . . out of touch.

 

I have to admit that once I decided to just roll with it, I did enjoy my little break from technology. 

Plugged back in now . . . . .

Whew.

Join in the Fray: What makes you feel “disconnected?”

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM Leave a comment

Cyber Monday? Bah, Humbug!

My computer and iPhone are still acting wonky, and I won’t have time to deal with either until I get home later tonight . . . . BUMMER.

On the upside, I suppose I can view this as a “vacation from electronics” day.

Yeah, that’s it!

(Giving myself The Look).

*_*

Join in the Fray: Aside from work, what do you need a “vacation” from?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

 I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM 4 comments

~Le sigh.

After coming off the high that was last week (namely, celebrating my birthday, my Dad’s birthday, and Thanksgiving), today I had to deal with the extreme annoyances brought on by a wonky iPhone and laptop. 

I’ve been unable to receive text messages since approximately 2:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, so, if you texted me and I didn’t respond – please don’t take it personally.

I refuse to let these events make me miss the posting challenge, so I’m posting this from my Dad’s old desktop computer.

From my. Dad’s. old. desktop. computer.

*_*

I’ll just leave it at that, lest the frustration that is surging through my body causes me to engage in self-combustion.

(Which, after a week of revelry, Louisiana style, probably wouldn’t be pretty. I’m just saying).

Join in the Fray: Should I upgrade my iPhone 4GS  to the 5 – or try another phone altogether?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 26, 2012 at 12:38 AM 2 comments

We Live We Love

Mrs. Gloria Dean Garner Jones

We live, we love, we forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

                                     ~From We Live by SuperChick

Approximately six or seven weeks ago I cruised down the freeway to an early morning meeting. For once, traffic flowed smoothly and the ride was stress free. Suddenly, from seemingly nowhere, a scene flashed through my mind, that of the funeral of a classmate’s Father, a popular coach and activist in our community. In that split second, I was transposed back in time. We were standing for the recessional. I could see my friend Judith, affectionately known as Cookie, and her family sobbing on the front row. That day, tears fell freely from my eyes, those of our other classmates, and of the countless adults in attendance.

Coach Jones’ funeral is stamped indelibly in my mind because it marks the first time I recall gaining an understanding of death: Its finality and the sense of utter separation it inflicts. My own family was (and for the most part, still is) blessed with longevity on both sides. Sure, we’d experienced the deaths of a couple of loved ones, but up until that point the losses had occurred via unexpected accidents, when we were away living in some foreign country or in another state. In hindsight, I know those deaths touched and hurt my parents, yet I realize they failed to affect my brothers and me in the same way.

We live, we love, we forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

 

On this day, the visual of my friend and her grieving family suddenly seared into my consciousness. I was startled, and taken aback. I felt the grief as fresh as I did the day of the funeral, and my eyes clouded with tears. I immediately began to pray for Cookie, her Mother, and her brothers and sisters. Thoughts of my friend and her family came periodically throughout the rest of the day, and I paused to pray for them each time.

Later that evening, my cousin Janelle called to tell me that Mrs. Jones had suffered a massive stroke, and her status was grave. Would I pass the news on to my Mother and other family members to join in prayer?  I managed to finish the call, and this time I could no longer hold back the tears. I thought of my own Mother and Father, still alive and doing well. I remembered the fear and despair I’d experienced just last year when both of them were hospitalized – my Dad on two separate occasions. I tried to put myself in Cookie’s place and imagine my Mother laying in a hospital bed fighting for her life – and I just couldn’t. The thought was much too painful; I couldn’t breathe.

But with life we never know when we’re coming up to the end of the road
So what do we do then
With tragedy around the bend?

I prayed for Mrs. Jones that night; we all did. We prayed, and continued to pray for Mrs. Jones and her six children; our friends and classmates. It seemed for a few hopeful days that Mrs. Jones was going to cheat death, yet eventually her body was unable to resist the onslaught that had come against her.

Mrs. Jones’ home-going celebration was held today at 1:00 p.m.

We live, we love, we forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

 The service was beautiful; filled with dignity and quiet joy. Heads nodded in assent at recounting of Mrs. Jones’ religious, professional, and civic service. She was a woman who was filled with grace and marked by a quiet, yet loving demeanor. To know her was to indeed love and respect her.

Laughter ensued as her grandchildren shared some of their memories and lessons learned. We prayed quietly for their strength, and then sat in awe as two of Mrs. Jones’ granddaughters sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” her favorite hymn, and as her firstborn son, Rev. C. Terrell Jones, brought a stirring oration and gospel message.

In Psalm 90:10, the patriarch Moses declared, The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday on the 21st; he has achieved the “fore-score” years that Moses spoke of. With each passing day, I reflect on the fact that so many of my friends no longer have their parents with them. I feel like I am cheating, somehow. Yet, I understand more, and more, and more, just how very blessed I am.

In that same Psalm 90, verse 12, Moses prays, Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. I pray this ancient prayer, and thank God for His divine providence, and His gift of life. I’m doing my best to make the most of it – how about you?

But what would it take for the clouds to break
For us to realize each day
Is a gift somehow, someway
And get our heads up out of this darkness
And spark this new mindset and start on with life cuz it ain’t gone yet

 

Join in the Fray: What are you doing to “number your days aright?”

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 24, 2012 at 9:31 PM Leave a comment

My Favorite Urban Cowboy

I was thrilled tonight to see Donal, one of my favorite cousins. He’s in town on his Thanksgiving sweep, and also here for a funeral. 

We rarely see Donal in anything other than his trademark western shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots.

Donal’s love for all-things-cowboy caused him to take me to my first ever “Black rodeo.” Not only did I see Black cowboys in action first hand, I also learned quite a bit about the history of Black men in rodeo.

I love Donal because he’s my ride or die cousin, and stood by me during one of the roughest periods of my life. He’s the typical man’s man. He can be extremely gruff and abrupt, but on the inside beats a heart of pure gold.

Love ya, Cuz!

*Whispering . . . FYI – he’s single!* Tee hee hee . . . .

Join in the Fray: Who’s your favorite relative and why?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM Leave a comment

What I’m Not Going to Post (Happy Thanksgiving!)

What I’m not going to post are pictures of food.

If you’ve been on social media at all today (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), then you’ve seen oodles of photos of your family and friends’ Thanksgiving dinners. What I will post is a synopsis of what we cooked and ate:

  • Dirty rice
  • White rice (and gravy for those who wanted it)
  • Seafood cornbread dressing
  • Greens with smoked turkey
  • Corn on the cob
  • Potato salad
  • Baked turkey
  • Baked ribs
  • Fried chicken
  • Rolls
  • Cornbread

Desserts included:

  • Red velvet cake
  • Homemade NY cheesecake
  • Pineapple cake
  • Coconut cake
  • Pecan pie

Drinks (our celebrations are alcohol-free zones):

  • Spiced tea
  • Sodas

Our celebration is filled with lots of loud laughter and discussions of how and what everyone is doing. When assorted friends and family members stop by, rinse and repeat. 

The standing joke is everyone timing the departure of my Dad, who wants to watch the annual Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins mash up from the comfort of his own chair. This year, he was in and out in 50 minutes!

Here’s hoping you had a Thanksgiving that was as filled with love and laughter as mine was. Cheers!

Join in the Fray: What did you have for dinner?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

 

 

November 22, 2012 at 11:11 PM Leave a comment

A Man Like No Other

The bestest Dad in the whole wide world!

There’s so much I can say about my Dad.

Yet, there’s nothing I can say without tearing up/breaking down/crying, so I think I’m going to try to be a big girl and keep this simple.

Happy Birthday to the bestest Daddy in the whole wide world. I could not have asked for anyone better for my Father, provider, and protector. A man who was unashamed about the fact that he loved his wife, two sons, baby girl, and his country. One who stressed the importance of maintaining a relationship and fellowship with God – one who took us to church instead of sending us. A man who made sure his wife was a stay-at-home-Mother to his children, and made sure his family always had a comfortable place to live, food, and clothing.

A man who stressed to his children the importance of reading, gaining knowledge, and becoming educated. A man who embraced diversity, yet instilled in us the understanding that we were never to allow anyone to intimidate us or make us feel less than.

A man who, aside from my late husband, was and always has been the biggest supporter of my dreams, goals, and aspirations – even the ones he didn’t personally agree with. No matter where I was or what I was doing, this is the man I could always count on to love me unconditionally – no matter what. 

A Dad who kept his promises, because “his word was his bond.”

Our birthdays are one day apart; mine is the 20th, and my Dad’s is the 21st. Since the time that I can remember being alive, my Dad has always told me that I was “The bestest birthday present” he had ever received. 

Not only did my Dad and I celebrate our birthdays, Thanksgiving is also “our” holiday. 

Happy Birthday to the bestest Daddy in the whole wide world. I love you and appreciate you more than you can ever know.

Thank you, dear Lord, for my Dad.

Join in the Fray: What makes your Dad “the bestest Dad in the whole wide world?” If you have children, what memories are you making for them?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

November 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM 2 comments

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