The Gift of Gratitude

Photo clockwise: Miles, Pat, Bama, & Moi; Pat, Camille, and I; Pat & Thomas; Camille, Taurus, Holly, Thomas and Moi

(My Patreon folks received this post, and I decided to share it with you.

Loved Ones,

You are my gifts, and I am grateful.  Because of you, I get to make folks smile and remember that life is a gift that should never be taken for granted.  Thank you.  I hope your holiday was filled with joy and expressed the blessings of being loved.

This year was special for me.  Our family dinner was wonderful, and our food was off the chain. (Try the recipe in the previous post).  We were so full, the fam didn’t even play games.  The following Saturday, I had the blessing of receiving old friends; one of my besties, Pat Lewis, with her husband, Thomas, and their friend, Holly.

Oh, the joy of remembrance!  Pat and I were in and out of old funny stories, and I realized the word “rekindle” is so significant.  The warm feelings we harbor are always within our hearts, and when rekindled, a fire of love and gratitude emanates throughout our spirits.  Also, the kids came over and got to experience our joy.

I tell you we ate and killed politics, with a warning from Holly about folks like Ye, Clarence, and Candace, “You gotta draw the line!”   Stand clear of anyone supporting them. Of course, in Black folk style,  we kept repeating his warning, laughing and screaming with each name we talked about. Pat and I sang a bit of the song we harmonized daily, “I’m So Proud,” (She’s a professional with The Crystals and a Motown group, so I stopped the video where I messed up).  Then, we invited Alexa to the party and danced to the O’Jays. 

Nothing like hugging your love-circle.  Please do so; hug them however you can.  Pat lives in New York, but we talk at least twice a week.  In fact, most of my oldest friends are not in Bama, but I do what I can to stay in touch.  Another thing we did at our table of friends was to just pause, breathe, and recognize how blessed we are to be here, living and loving in this moment.  I’m aware, and I’m grateful.

Pat and I, college days to today.

Wanna hear us sing?!!! Pat’s the pro…me, no!

Love to all!!

Victorine

“It’s all good/love/God”Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

Legacy…Oh wait! We’re celebrating Gratitude today!

Here’s the thing about Black legacy; it’s golden. When you are on the heels of your folks for any educational or business accomplishment, you follow their recipe for future endeavors. Mr. K. and I went to his reunion at Prairie View A&M University (PVAM) in Texas. A visit to Prairie View is a visit to his Aunt Irma Kendrick, a hallmark of legacy.

Aunt Irma and her husband, Griff, have ushered numerous kids through the halls of PVAM; they have witnessed Black excellence and turned out MD’s, Ph. D’s attorneys, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Beyond degrees, they were instrumental in building strength in character, and I witnessed many accomplished citizens come back to pay homage to the little woman who defined educational support for them.

WAIT!!!! BIG NEWS!!! SPICY INTERRUPTS THIS ARTICLE WITH BIG NEWS!!

I’VE JUST RECEIVED THE LEGACY OF LORNA HOLLIDAY MC GEE’S FAMOUS MAC ‘N CHEESE RECIPE FOR FAMILY/FRIENDSGIVING!!!! (I’ve been after this recipe for over 20 years). THANK YOU, LORNA!!!

In a large deep dish baking dish

1 lb of cooked macaroni tossed with I/2 stick of butter, then add cheese

2 cups of sharp cheddar, 2 cups of mild cheddar, 2 cups of Colby or Colby jack, 2 cups of mozzarella

In a blender, add 4 cups of milk, 8 oz of Velvetta cheese, 8 oz cream cheese, 2 eggs, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Blend, then pour over macaroni; add 2 more cups of milk to the blender to capture the residue and pour over macaroni to make sure all is covered 1 1/2 stick of butter sliced over macaroni.

Bake at 350 for 45 min to an hour This makes enough to fill a 9x13x3 dish; reduce for a smaller dish.

“The key is the cinnamon and nutmeg!” – Lorna’s tip


LOVE AND BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL THIS DAY OF CELEBRATING GRAATITUDE!!!!!!!! I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU!

Love Train

Here we go! We made our way to Memphis and checked into the Arrive Hotel on Main Street. About this hotel. It was serious! It is located in a Hipster area, and when entering the lobby, you can’t help but gasp. It’s so cool, with low old leather sofas, salon chairs, an open concept with faded Oriental rugs, and contemporary accents. Tucked in the corner was a cool desk attendant with piercings and a warm smile. She gave us the lowdown on the hotel’s two eateries, the trolley across the street, and welcomed us to a walking-safe area. We were a few blocks away from the Orpheum, where we were going for our concert.

Our room was to die for, with concrete floors, wide open space, and warehouse windows letting in voluminous light. It was tres chic, and you already know I was grinning from ear to ear. Can you say Japanese bathroom? What?!!

Loved the decor – floor, rug, bathroom, robes, warehouse #swag

After settling a bit, Mr. K. went down to the lobby to meet his cousin, Emma. Y’all know Mr. K. likes to talk. When I went down to join them, he had already befriended a lovely couple, Jennifer and Karl Carpenter. They were in Memphis to open their second restaurant. (Their first, Garden Brunch Cafe, is in Nashville). Of course, we had to tell them about Garden Spices Magazine. Turns out our mission is the same – celebrating differences. I’m sure you’ll hear more about the Carpenters in Garden Spices but enters cousin Emma Lockridge. More joy!

Top: Emma, photo of her grandmother and Mr. K., Bottom: Jennifer and Karl Carpenter

Mr. K. gave Emma precious photos of her ancestors. And we spoke a bit about their family and then about her environmental activism in Detroit. I hope we’ll be hearing more about /from Emma too. (She’s a journalist)! After warm goodbyes, we readied for what we came to see – the O’Jays.

Mr. K. and I love the O’Jays, not because Mr. K. is Forever Mine or that we Cried Together. We simply attended because (We) Love Music!! (Y’all know I had to do this). It just doesn’t make any sense how one group could make so many hits! And the O’Jays sang them all. What?!

Here’s the thing about the O’Jays; they sound exactly like their records. Eddie Levert had Covid and was not there. I was so disappointed because I just wanted to experience Eddie’s exuberance. As soon as Eddie’s substitute belted his first note, my frown turned upside down He represented splendidly. And we were singing right with them, “You used to be my girl!!!” We were jammin’. Y’all know how I like to dance, which I did in my seat, but when For the Love of Money started, Mr. K. was out of his seat. I was like, “Alright now!” We left on the Love Train, but we had to walk down them stairs. (Read video caption)

Y’all, Mr. K. had to buy what they had left of tickets. So we are way up yonder. Can we say “stairs!”

Let me say this, and y’all better hear me. I don’t care what the occasion, please wear comfortable shoes, especially if you have challenged feet, like mine. Because of my hurting feet, we did not walk through Beale Street to find a restaurant; we trollied back to the hotel. With both hotel restaurants closed, we were steered to the hamburger joint on the corner of the block. All this place served was hamburgers and chips My feet talked all the way there. But miraculously, my feet stopped hurting when we sat on the stools at that greasy spoon and indulged in probably one of the best hamburgers I have ever eaten.; like Climbing the Stairway to Heaven! What!!

Joy Juice

Want to be uplifted? Play music; it doesn’t matter what the genre. It can take you down the path of memories, make you cry, but mostly uplift your soul. When I go home to a Chicago summer, I run with my friends to different venues to hear jazz or to Trinity Church to hear my cousin Deanna sing. In Bama, Mr. K. and I love the WC Handy Music Festival and the festival we create in his car listening to Sirius play Dusty Records.

Each morning I awaken to a source of life-affirming energy – music. Yes, the silence is nice too, but I invite you to find your soul today with music. Created by the Creator for you.

 Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, Ephesians 5:19

Music speaks louder than words. – African Proverb


“It’s all good/love/God”Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

What? Where? When?

What, Where

Y’all, I have not been able to catch my breath this summer; I ‘been on the move. This month, the Usual Suspects (US), Bennetts, Mr. K, and I, traveled to Raleigh and Asheville, NC. We visited Raleigh to catch up with my daughter, Camille’s best friend, Jerel Noel, and his beautiful family.

The Noel Family!!!! Jerel, Maliah, and Deborah

As usual, we lodge in an Airbnb. Thank goodness it was a nice one with state-of-the-art amenities. While the fam was touring with Jerel on our first day, I was busy publishing my magazine. The fam came to retrieve me, and I got to see much of the city on the way to Jerel’s.

We spent July 4th with Jerel and his wife, Debbie. Our family doesn’t celebrate independence on the 4th; we celebrate family and friends with good eats, music, dancing, conversations, and somebody gotta play spades. What!! Debbie’s family invited us to partake in all of the above, and we had a grand time.

The next day, we headed out to Asheville. You talk about rolling up some mountains? ! We lodged in a mountain cabin, and the view was breathtaking.

We did little of nothing in Asheville but relax. We even stayed in the cabin and listened to the rain on our last day. Of course, we hunted down a museum and art, and as foodies, we found cuisine that served us all. (Camille is now pescatarian and also eats gluten-free). And the fam has a tradition of ordering fried chicken and comparing each city with Champy’s. (So far, Champy’s wins, BUT they haven’t tasted Harold’s). What!

Y’all! I almost forgot. In Asheville, I finally got to put my hands on some beads rather than ordering online. I was immersed in every bead from Africa to Czechoslovakia,

Asheville

When

Hot fun in the summertime!” Yes, but some of the things we did and do can be experienced all year long. Theatre, art, and music events, and exercise – all year long; political and spiritual community involvement – all year long. Guess what else…?

Sometime in August, I’ll be launching VBGold Jewelry, selling my love designs on Facebook, Etsy, and here on Spicy. ( I have a page with a peek at a few pieces). All year long. What!

When to do What and Where? Now. We gotta live our moments with vitality, giving thanks along the way. Along the way, we also pray for those who need it, giving thanks for divine health. Won’t it be done?!! Ase’.

Joy Juice

I started this post and lost it in cyberspace. I was incensed, got over it, and here I am doing what I love, sharing with you. That’s what we do. We dwell in the blessings of every moment, taking nothing, including time, for granted. I pray you are enjoying the summer of your life all year long.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

He who wakes up early in the morning receives a bundle of blessings. African Proverb

“It’s all good/love/God”Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

Block Parties!!!!

Oh yes…I remember them. During the 50s, block parties were events initiated by block clubs in city neighborhoods. The streets are actually blocked off for safety, privacy, and big fun. The parties were well planned, with Mrs. Anderson in charge of the food committee, Mrs. Flowers decorating, all moms orchestrating the games, My mom and aunt singing their duet, and the piece de resistance? The dance contest!!! What?

No real dee jays at our parties, somebody had a system that was loud enough to play the records we loved. Then, it started. First, the older kids competed; then maybe the 7-10-year-olds; but after that, the “little kids” had their chance to dance.

Little ones have no shame. That music hits, and they start moving; arms falling, finding their feet to the latest dance. And these kids could dance! I thought I was good, but there were some better than me! Mama and daddy, but mostly mama screaming, “Do it, baby!” I know it was so hard to choose a winner, but then the group parts, and two kids are left for the showdown. The crowd goes crazy. Then one kid does a split or something more ominous and impressive, and it’s all over. The winner is crowned.

I don’t remember adults dancing, but everybody loved the music, hot dogs, kool-aid, and camaraderie of neighbors enjoying where we lived. Block parties were an annual event.

Today, festivals and art walks remind me of block parties. Mr. K. and our family visited Memphis, and we experienced the art walk on Beale Street. It was so cool to browse the artwork and meet the artisans. Mr. K. had on his “Harvard Dad” T-shirt, and he met a woman whose son also attended Harvard. She turned out to be his cousin!! (“6 degrees of separation”). While block parties are for street neighbors, festivals and art walks are open to anyone wishing to attend.

Mr. K. and Cousin
The fam: Daughter, Camille, Son-in-love, Taurus, and Grandson, Morgan

We walked during the daytime; so the energy was family-oriented. I’m sure we missed the dancing when places like BB King’s place open and music spills out to the streets.

Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

Party Over Here!!!

Project Say Something in Florence, AL, is hosting a Block Party on June 18th, 7:00PM to celebrate Juneteenth the day commemorating freedom from slavery. The party is being held where we all live and visit at least once a year, in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse on Court Street. We are all neighbors, and we need a reprieve from the trials of these days.

While a monument reminding us of a sordid past still stands to haunt us, PSS reclaims the street with drumming, music, entertainment, food, dancing, vendors, and, of course, a dance contest for the kids. Yes, we are neighbors, and this is what we do annually.

I hope you will come on out and celebrate with us. No, I will not be doing the splits, but I know you will feel what I feel every year, the joy of neighbors gathering.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash


Joy Juice

Parties can be great! They remind us that we can come together in joy. We take every opportunity we can to celebrate being here on our soul’s journey, and it’s nice to do so with a collective gathering. We get our sometimes, tired, achy bones up to see the sunshine of the moment, and I don’t know about you, but I “understand the assignment.”

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.” Ecclesiastes 9:7

Happiness is not perfected until it is shared. – African Proverb

Make peace with the universe. Take joy in it. It will turn to gold. Resurrection will be now. Every moment, a new beauty. – Rumi


“It’s all good/love/God”Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

Yo’ Mama…

…was the comeback for any insult in the ’50s and ’60s on most Black streets.Yo’ Mama! ” We would throw it off the back of our shoulders, as though there was a chord of truth that a mama could resemble anything crass, ugly, or, much worse, laughable. “Yo’ mama” was perceived as a funny dig because most of us knew the truth about our mothers. We knew they were our touchstone, our “goo,” the symbol of vigilant light, perpetually burning for us. During those days, as they rocked us, they had to be our rock.

Whether outside or inside the home, mamas fielded their working lives, cooking, nurturing, keeping us straight/straightening us out. And when out of line, you had the neighborhood mamas to contend with. Wait…maybe that’s why we knew we could take the jabbing at “mama;” we knew our moms could take on the world if it messed with them/us. And mama might not be by societal norms; mama could be your auntie, grandma, a neighbor, or even your daddy. The mama energy is powerful!

Featured image: Kaylee, Christian, and Amon, (Mom). Couldn’t leave Mo out of the picture!

Today, that energy, the collective mama in this realm or the next, is proud of her children. She carries us, as we navigate the trials of the day, and whether we are protesting or praying, we know that energy is with us. So let’s flip the switch:

When they say you are not worthy of having a good man or woman to love, you say,

Yo’ Mama.

When they tell you your kids don’t need to be fed by any means necessary, while you are working every day to do so, you say,

Yo’ Mama

When they tell you symbols of oppression ought to stand in public places, you say,

Yo’ Mama

When they tell you that your childbirth or medical experience cannot be topnotch; that you don’t “require the same help as others because you are ‘strong,'” you say,

Yo’ Mama

When they tell you your body is in the hands of anyone but you, you say,

Yo’ Mama

When they tell you that everyone, no matter what race, gender, or faith should not be loved the same, you say,

Yo’ Mama

And when they tell you chants, meditation, and prayer don’t work, you say

Yo’ Mama

Carry that mama energy with pride and know that it flows generously through each of us.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Joy Juice

I call on my Amon (mother) almost every day. She represented the power of nurturing God through her love, strength, gratitude, and hope. Once a year we celebrate the Mother, but each moment we are aware of our mothering energy. Ase’

Proverbs 31:28–29: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.'”

“A mother is like a kernel, crushed by problems but strong enough to overcome them.”
– Congo proverb

Like a mother who protects her child, her only child, with her own life, one should cultivate a heart of unlimited love and compassion towards all living beings. – Guatama Buddha

“WE STAND UP FOR THE LOOKOUT” – Indigo Girls

“It’s all good/love/God”Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

The Sunshine State?

My sweet family invited me to take a road trip to Orlando/Kissimmee, FL., where they were visiting their family. Then, they invited Mr. K. Of course, we said “Yes!” (Mr. K. met us there from SC.) Wonderful! Haven’t traveled with the fam in a few years.

We were on our way two days after the Smith/Rock Oscars fiasco; so you already know our topic a quarter of the way there. Y’all!…we turned that slap upside down and inside-out! Finally, we agreed to…well, we never did come to an agreement. We only agreed that we were tired of discussing it. Then, came the music.

The big fun for me was to be introduced to their music, and I liked it. So Strong, by Labi Siffre, was the first of the myriad of songs they played for me. After about the fifth song, I realized I was definitely in the car with activists; every song was about standing up. What!

I guess activists don’t eat. Them kids would not stop to eat for nothing! You know I was like, “Y’all don’t eat?!” An 11-hour drive calls for some vittles. They finally stopped for fast food, and at this juncture, I was game. By the time we got to our Airbnb house in Kissimmee, we were famished. Mr. K. to the rescue! He arrived with a healthy frozen stir-fry, which I whipped up, and we were all good to go. Oh…he had baklava too!

The next day Mr. K. and I headed out to Orlando. Here’s the deal; Mr. K. used to live in several places in FL. So, we went on a search to find his former residences in several cities, Orlando was one of them. I got to see Martin Marietta, where he worked for years, and also found his house. Great for Mr. K. after 40 years.

Also great for Mr. K. was our visit to the small African American museum, Wells Built which highlighted a deceased friend of his, Bob Billingsley. He also recognized another friend who made local history. Then we tried to be tourists to take in several sites, which didn’t work for us. (Remember where we are, in Disney territory.) We ended up at Bahama Breeze for dinner, but not before I had one of my epic falls.

I already told y’all about me in Danger Zone. ‘Thing is, due to foot issues, my balance is off. Also, I do not pick up my feet when I walk. I’m strolling the walkway to Bahama Breeze and before I know it, I’m falling, and I hit my head. Mr. K. and onlookers were quick to come to my rescue, but this time I had to sit a minute to make sure I was OK. I was/am., but every time I think about the fall, my head hurts. What!

Y’all, I can’t walk without chanting! That way I pay attention to what I’m doing. All this to say do what you gotta do to move in a healthy way.

For the next three days we visited St. Petersburg and Clearwater, again to find Mr. K”s homes, St. Petersburg had a coastal area, which was OK, and after quite a duration, we landed at a Jamaican restaurant, Yardie Yvbz. As a family, we also drove to Gainesville to meet my niece and her family for the first time and had a blast. The last day was a Vicki day.

Visiting the Wells Built Museum
Airbnb house, us, and Family!! Nothing better! Hey! where are the boys?!

Off to the Orlando Museum of Art, we went, and guess who was there waiting for us? Jean-Michel Basquait! Really a great exhibition and the museum was wonderful. The museum store clerk sent us to the Park Avenue district for walking and Thai dining at Orchid. I was all up in my zone, and so was Mr. K. We walked and later toured the district to see the massive homes and Florida architecture. We had a really nice ending to our Florida visit.

Florida, at least Central Florida… not for me. Maybe it’s the energy. (Sometimes, you could feel Ron DeSantis). Traveling with family and Mr. K.? Absolutely! Of course, I had to adjust to the screams during the Hawks’ game and the silence of the cell phones, but I understood the assignment. What?!!

Joy Juice

When the kids dropped me off I said, thinking I complained too much, “I know you guys don’t want to travel with me again.” My daughter told me she was hurt when I said it. We recounted the trip and she reminded me that my boys are older now, and that she has to deal with the sports stuff daily. In response, I realized I could hang. (They want me! They really want me)! Of course, I was left with challenged eardrums, but I can adjust when needed.

We are adaptable in this season. Life is too fragile to waste a moment. We open our minds to new ways of doing anything, and realize that if we are not expanding and growing, we might as well cash it in.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

“It is better to live as a lion for one day rather than 100 years as a sheep.African Proverb

“It’s all good/love/God”Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

Warm and Fuzzy

It all started with sweet potato pie. I have known my sista’ friend, Pat Lewis, since college. During one of our frequent phone conversations, she told me she made her mama’s sweet potato pie and that it was all she could do to keep from eating the whole thing. Although Pat resides in New York and sings with the 50’s revival group, The Crystals, she is a Bama girl, born and raised in Birmingham, AL. It was there that Ms. Margaret Pritchett, Pat’s mother, made sweet potato pie. Pat, consistently over her mom’s shoulder, took heed from her mother’s words. “Keep it light.” Ms. Margaret is no longer with us, but her pie’s sweetness and “light touch” generate a warm and fuzzy feeling. But, then, our talk of such things was on, like a pot of neck bones! What?!

Pat recounted how her mother used to flip the sheets over to freshen them, and I quipped,So did my mother! On Saturday mornings, she would come into my room and flip the sheets with me in them, laughing.” It was the best feeling ever, so I gave my kids the same thrill. Then, there were the mama rub-downs.

The Crystals! My friend Pat is on the left.

My mom, affectionately called “Amon,” is no longer in this realm, but her spirit lingers through rub-down memories. When besieged by a cold, Amon used to gently come into my bedroom and rub my chest with Ben Gay and swipe under my nose with Vicks Vapor Rub. Then, she would take a piece of flannel and pin it to my undershirt. I swear, I can still feel it. For Pat, Ms. Magaret used to rub her legs and feet with tallow, a cream she would make of beef fat. “Whew, that stuff really smelled,” but it was a healing remedy. She also remembers her mom rising at 4 am to go to work. She did not see Ms. Margaret until she returned shortly after Pat and her sister, Maxine, came home from school. Yes, to cook the way she did – scrumptiously.

My mother left for work early too, but not before I would sit on her bed and watch her dress for work, put on pancake makeup (the only makeup for Black women then), and finish with her glorious lipstick. She looked so fine. “Mother only wore lipstick,” Pat recalled about Ms. Margaret, but “she was beautiful.” (I can attest to that).

Walking home from work, Amon could barely make it to the corner of our street before my brother, Bernie, and I would run to meet her. She never really wanted to work; we were her joy. Daddy never got home till after 7 pm, so it was Amon until then, taking us roller skating, to the rodeo, park, library, dance class, music lessons, and downtown to the museums on Saturday.

Pat and I went on and on; Pat in New York, me, in Florence, AL. With each remembrance, my smile deepened, and I’m willing to bet Pat was smiling too. When done with our phone call, I thanked Pat for launching our memories. Warm and fuzzy.

I would love to hear a childhood memory of yours. Believe me, it feels so good. What!!

Margaret Pritchett (Mother) and Irene Basley (Amon) our loving mothers.

Image of pie: Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Joy Juice

Both Pat and I were groomed in Church and knew/know the activation of God working in our life. Unfortunately, childhood is not all fairy tales. Sometimes we have to search for childhood memories we can cherish. I have sympathy for so many folks that have horrid childhood memories. However, I still encourage all to find the sweetness, the warm and fuzzy feelings experienced when anyone – a parent, teacher, family member, or friend, reached out to you as a vessel of the love that is inherently yours.

These memories can help us navigate these times. These times call for finding your light, holding on to hope, and faith that God is working.


For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Love is like a baby: it needs to be treated tenderly.African Proverb


“It’s all good/love/God” – Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

Always the Drama…

…This time, my daughter, Camille’s whole family healing from Covidflu. Yes, you heard that right; not just Covid, but the flu with an insomnia chaser that sent all of us spiraling into gangster mode for healing. I tell you it’s the worst when your family needs you and you can’t touch them. Many of you know the feeling of fear and hopelessness, which makes you affirm what you already know – God is. We are talking 24/7 alert with all participants stressed to the max, but blessed. (Thanks, Prayer Warriors). A week into healing, I had a new experience, a film crew in my home. Yes, I am now in the annals of reality film, uh, I think they call it a“documentary?What?!!

A crew filming an Apple documentary on Alabama racial justice advocacy is scheduled to come to my home. They are featuring Camille and Project Say Something, but due to post-Covid at her house, they shoot at my home. You already know. First, I had to ready my house. Then, I found out they are interviewing me, so I have to decide what to wear to look casual, but not too fat. They want us doing what we do in the kitchen and such, but...post-Covidflu. Hello!

Enters the crew, who is absolutely fabulous as they completely move all my furniture to reveal all the dirt I did not clean. I just threw my hands up and followed their orders. I had to mic up under my top and into my leggings Huh?; not easy, but with the help of one of the crew members, done quickly. I sat on my famous red couch and they had to keep positioning me to the best angle for filming. As soon as they were ready, I grabbed my pillow to hold, just like a baby, I smiled and answered their questions.

We were going strong until my son, Miles, had to leave and put his dog, Bama, in her crate. Y’all, it was on!! Bama started to whimper and moan. I couldn’t let her out; she doesn’t do well with strangers, especially with cameras. I had to send her to the backyard to play. We finished the interview, and with ease, I let her back in. She walked around the house grumbling like Jaws to our laughter. Thank goodness, most of the crew had dogs.

Yes, the Red Couch again!

Next, we had to wait for the star to arrive. Camille called and told me she was moving slowly and running late. I had to do a dog and pony show for an hour and a half until she could get here. Thank goodness, Administrative Assistant, Unique Morgan Dunston, came in, and we discussed some of Unique’s projects.

Unique Morgan Dunston

Our kitchen scene turned into me cooking and the camera following me. I was like, “I am not Martha Stewart!” I made baked mixed potatoes, garlic-lemon salmon, and zucchini, with salad. I tried to throw some lemons on the salmon to spruce it up, but…

Finally, Camille entered. In spite of the fatigue, she looked good. I served dinner to Camille, Unique, and finally sat down myself. (The crew ate takeout from Tzatzikis). We had great discussions about the many bills being challenged in Alabama, but nothing was better than seeing my child eat a full plate of food and asking for seconds. Again, post-Covidflu. Afterward, Son-in-love, Taurus, and grandson, Morgan, entered, and familiar laughter started, as they exited with all leftovers from snacks and dinner. Mama was happy.

At last, the crew put all of my furniture back and took out my garbage. The experience was really exciting for me, and I was so impressed with the crew. (They are also doing a documentary on Nikki Giovanni). After a long day, from 12:30pm to 8:00pm, the crew bid goodbye and promised, “We’ll be back to shoot some more!” What?!!!!!

Camille, readying th next morning for Lobbying in Montgomery

Featured image by Millicent Garland photography

Joy Juice

After going through h _ l l with this virus, I had a life-affirming experience. I have seen God move throughout our healing process, and this filming was no exception. It activated our family light, and through God, we showed up and showed out. Healing is still a part of our process, but I know so many of you share this experience and hold faith in knowing that with healing, renewal takes place. Ase’.

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” ~Psalms 103:2-4

“If you have health you have hope you have everything.” African proverb

“It’s all good/love/God” – Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.  

I Know Where I’ll be in ’22…

…I will be spending more time with YOU.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! You need me to affirm that we can still have joy in our lives. This relationship is reciprocal; I need you to embrace your strength and the vital force of Joi de Vivre to affect your world, which includes me. We need to know we are OK, and who can we call to keep us going? US!

I am visiting Mr. K. in Columbia, SC. We brought in the New Year together. While we were toasting, one of his loved ones got the virus, two people I know transitioned, and one is on her way to the next realm. How could we count our blessings, laughing, while so many suffer illnesses and loss? Just like you, we choose to reach out our hands to find sustenance, and we yield to the unwavering gift of gratitude.

How to be Grateful (Don’t you dare turn away; we need this).

Check-in with your body.

Me: Thank God, I’m breathing! (For this I give gratitude daily).

Me: I’m doing a body scan. Knee? What’s your problem?

Knee: I’m gon’ hurt you today unless you pay attention to me,

Me: I love you, Knee, so I am going to put you up and do the ice-heat switch, Sound Therapy, go see my Chiropractor, do Reiki, do exercises, and pray for healing. I’m grateful I got you. I’m grateful I am willing to do whatever it takes to heal you.

Knee: Suppose I don’t heal?

Me: I do what I must do with you and all body and mind parts to stay vital, including therapy, surgery – by any means necessary!

MindStimulate It

Along with reading and writing with y’all, traveling and exploring culture always stimulates my mind. In Columbia, I was all up in museums. I was bowled over by the Museum of Art; they had an exhibit of 22 Black artists whose work is shaped by their experiences in Carolina. Of course, every exhibit held my fascination.

We also visited the South Carolina State Museum, where Mr. K. introduced me to where, as. a volunteer, he ushered many visitors to the planetarium. The telescope was under repair, so Mr. K. couldn’t do his thing with me, but there was so much South Carolina history there. Some, I could’ve done without, (Confederacy), but I was surprised to see they balanced exhibits with the truth about the ravages of slavery.

Stars, quilts, and antiques. Can y’all believe these objects are now antiques?! What?!

I also play Solitaire, Word Scapes, and Word Stacks nightly, as I dance in front of the TV. What?!

Spirit – Practice Makes Perfect

Cedar and I

Do what makes your spirit soar. Connecting with friends makes me smile. Mr. K.had business in Augusta, GA, so I gave a holla’ to Cedar and Rodell. We intended to do a drive-by-we-vaxed & boosted-hug, but it turned into a great lunch, shopping, and we were still there in the evening. That’s what happens when old friends gather, spirits soar.

Personally, no matter where I am, It’s the same ole’ song for me – Yoga, QiGong, prayer, meditation – my daily routine. But whatever you do, it’s time to hold on, go within, and stay close to God or whatever you call your Higher Power. We are still convening on Zoom every Sunday, but that spiritual food sure tastes good!

I know I said you needed to hear this, but y’all already know. Whenever you breathe, just say THANK YOU; your mind, body, and spirit are affirmed each time you do.


Joy Juice

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“Give thanks for the little and you will find a lot” Nigerian Proverb

“Be grateful for your life, every detail of it, and your face will come to shine like a sun, and everyone who sees it will be made glad and peaceful. Persist in gratitude, and you will slowly become one with the Sun of Love, and Love will shine through you its all-healing joy.” Rumi


“It’s all good/love/God” – Victorine

© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


 

Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!

Please support Spicy…a blog by Victorine through Patreon. 

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.