I thought if I told the truth about this entry, y’all wouldn’t read it. The truth? I’m so tired!! Today, I went to an early morning performance for Black History Month. ( BHM) I am part of The CORE Drummers, and I also had to do a bit of dancing. Y’all! You would’ve thought I danced the whole day. I came home, into my chair I went, and I was out for about an hour. What?!!

I must say that BHM keeps me pretty busy. I have two speaking engagements this week and more performances coming up. You would think folks gotta cram our history into just one month!!! Really?!! Our rich history needs to be a part of every American History textbook . You can’t tell it or celebrate it in a month. Besides, I’m tired!

Everyone who knows me understands that if they sit me down with a throw to cover me, I‘m gone. If folks visit me, they know what to expect; my eyes will close. Mr. K was like…”Do you ever finish a movie…” I’m like, (trying to pretend this is not my normal behavior), “I had to wake up really early today. I didn’t get much sleep.” NOT! I gotta get my rest. He’s used to it now. Also, I will happily nap in your home, at your video, and even at your party. Yes, I’m guilty. But let’s talk about my vibrancy.

I am known to lead a Soul Train line. There. That says it all. Seriously, I’m a culture vulture and will travel for dance, jazz, and art. I will comb an art exhibit like eating a chicken wing to the bone. I don’t play. I will travel for spirituality too, ceremonies and such, festivals too. Ooh, it’s fun exploring who we are through festivals that teach us about our origins and where we are going. Generally, I’m good for one, maybe two events a day, but as soon as the day is done, I’m out! I mean, I’m in for comfort and relaxation. Oh! One more cute story.

My “niece,” Dayna Latrice, threw a 70th Birthday party for her mom,, Pat Kline, and we had a ball. We came to Chicago from everywhere to honor Pat, even from Amsterdam. The party was scheduled to end at 10PM. Why was it that the same folks who used to leave home for parties at 10PM, left Pat’s party by 8:30PM?! What?!!

That’s OK. We may party earlier and take naps, but we are on the scene. Some more than others, but isn’t it grand to tell the world, “This is how we do it!” and be vibrant in our own way,

There are about 20 young people in my house constructing Vision Boards. Me? Teeing up for passing out.

Joy Juice

Rest is a part of staying healthy. It is just as important to get enough rest as it is to affirm your zest through staying active. Find the time to replenish yourself. ‘Need a throw?

“Love has the final word” – Rickie Byars


© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Let’s Go…

“Not so fast…As a young Chicago sister, you didn’t want to travel anywhere. Your friends would be like, “I’m going to (wherever), don’t you want to go?” And you would be like, “No. I’m fine.” You’d be thinking…” Hmmph, ‘nothing like Chicago; I don’t have to travel anywhere.” Now, ya’ll know that was me filled with fear. Then at 21, I went down South to college in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Yes, there was a culture shock of a Yankee moving to the South, and soon, they called me, “Slick Vick the Chicago Chick.” My roots were showing, but I was ready to be picked. All you had to say was, “Let’s go” and I was gone to Mississippi, Birmingham, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, all over the South.

Once I got out of my way, I traveled and lived in many places. I have been fortunate enough to experience how folks live outside of 2nd City. I traveled quite a bit when Bob was living, but now, my girls and I stay on the move. (D.C. or bust, this year!) The kids and I try to get away once a year, and now that Mr. K. is on the scene, we travel too. Let me give ya’ll one scoop. When you travel abroad or even if you have a layover in a major local airport, ask for a wheelchair. It’s the only thing you gon’ get for free from the airline. So take advantage of it.

Last year, I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand. I got wheelchair service. When I hit ATL’s airport, I said a prayer of thanks. This couple about my age was standing on the shuttle train, and they looked at me, laughed, and said, “You know you are cheating“. I laughed too, as I was leaning back to get more comfortable in my chair. When I hit Seoul, Korea, the airport was fabulous, and we really had to travel to get to the terminal. When we made it there, I was in shock. There was a sea of wheelchair passengers, young and old!! It looked like a go-cart track! We were the majority of the flight! Folks had all kinds of fruit and foods at their ‘chairs.’ I was like…What?!!

Wheelchair view of the Seoul, Korea airport

With students in park. Smiles wherever I went.

Joy Juice

Getting away doesn’t mean traveling far. Just a neighboring city, town, or a trip to the country can do. Just get out of ‘your own backyard‘ from time-to-time. Eat a new cuisine. Give your senses some exercise. We are so blessed to have this time in our lives to be present. While/if we can, let’s take our souls on the road.

“Love has the final word”Rickie Byars

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Victorine on the streets of Thailand
Image; My sweet niece, Garnet Basley


I See You

I love Facebook. Don’t judge. I know some of y’all have been tweeting and hitting up Instagram and that we don’t trust Zuckerberg, but I’m gon’ tell y’all something; Facebook has been my friend.

I have lived in Chicago, Tuscaloosa, Cleveland, St. Maarten, Virginia Beach, and now, Florence, AL. I have met incredible souls wherever I lived. Do you think I would have been able to connect with them without social media? Nope. Because of this tool, I could be nosy and find out your whereabouts and I could invite you back into my life. Not everybody, though. If I didn’t like you back then, I’m not looking for you now. Oooh, that’s so cold, you say. Why you think I called this blog Spicy… no filter. Because of Facebook, I could ask, “Where you been?” and find out.

Every time I visit Chicago, I have a list of friends from high school days I’m gon’ run into. Why? Facebook. I know about births, deaths, marriages, sickness, and health of friends from all over the world. Why? Facebook. And the news? You already know. Y’all! I created a magazine, and many of my contributors I have never met face-to-face. How? Facebook. Guess how I met Mr. K.? A connection through my activist group’s project on Facebook. Bam!

See? Y’all don’t know. Those of you who are blessed enough to live in cities where there are culture and stuff you like to do, don’t understand how folks like me can stay so attached to social media. Get over yourselves; Facebook allowed me to travel, party, and grow with you. And though I have felt isolated and lonely at times, like others in our season, I could plan my next connection with you. Yes, feel sorry for me…until you read my next post on traveling.

So, those of you that stay pretty glued to Facebook, don’t feel bad. Now, you do need to get off your behind and get some exercise. (Guess who I’m talking to?) Also, get out and do what you got to do. Join some clubs, go get folks to vote, work, volunteer, but if this is your way of hearing about and connecting with folks, I SEE YOU.

Joy Juice

Social Media. Oh how I wish I had you with me during my years of giving care to my loved ones. We can be grateful that we can find support in our lives and that we can reach out to others.. We reach each other, without being able to physically touch, and we know we are in step with beating hearts. WE SEE EACH OTHER.

“Love has the final word” – Ricki Byars

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Feature Photo by Richard Brutyo on Unsplash



While living in Chicago, my mother, aka, Queen Irene, aka, Amon conducted, (I substituted the word “conducted” for “did), business the Old School way. If she had a bill to pay, down to the Money Order place she would go to personally deliver the check. If she had a problem, I would ask, “Amon, why don’t you call those people?” So one day she heeded my advice and called a company:

Place: Hello, this is (the company)…

Amon: May I…

Place: (Interrupting Amon) Please choose the department you wish to speak to…

Amon: I…

Place: …Press 1 for an agent.; Press 2 for the Customer Service Department; Press 3 for the candlestick maker; Press 4 for the garbage man; Press 5 for the dice you rolled …

Amon: But I don’t know…

Place: Press 8 to repeat the departments


While taking the phone, I remember feeling so badly that she encountered that mess. She was in her 80s. I don’t know how elderly folks make it without help. Upon leaving her that visit, I told her she would have to take her time and be really patient with her phone calls. At 85 she moved to Bama to be close to me. She could use her personal checks down here, but she still walked her bills and I manned her calls.

What us gon’ do? We can’t escape it And now we got OUTSOURCING. I’ll just say this about outsourcing, *#x*#!!x… I’m 10 years younger than Amon was, but I’m already exasperated after most of my service calls. I do remember what I told Amon, and I try my best to be patient, and I must say, some companies have really worked with their agents to be able to better communicate. I don’t mind calling grocery stores, and after I spoke with the exuberantly courteous Zappos shoe clerk , I asked for a job!

Joy Juice

We have voice mail. We also have the fortune of having the “stuff” we have to call about. The phone clerks are only doing their job, and we have to remember we’re retired. We got time and we are too blessed to be What?!!!

“Love has the final word.” – Ricki Byars

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved


Amon & Victorine

Featured Photo by Wendy Scofield on Unsplash

I Hurt!

About 20 years ago, I was complaining to my deceased husband, Bob, about my hands hurting. “I have trouble gripping the steering wheel for long periods of driving.” This is what he said, “I know what it is.” “What?” I asked. He said, “Arthritis.” I thought I was gonna die!! He accused me of getting old! This was not supposed to happen to me. I was a drug rep that sold a prescription drug for arthritis for them, not for me!

Little did I know I would be challenged by my back, shoulders, and other conditions that would sit me down during intervals of active pain. I’ve had visits by all of the above, but I gotta share my experience with my knees.

I was visiting Chicago, which always meant “Let’s go!” I mean those women in my blog’s feature picture don’t play when it comes to affirming their vitality. They don’t surrender to surgery, cancer, or anything. So, when I visit, I gotta be ready to hang. One evening, we were going to view a wide collection of African art. I climbed into my friend’s SUV. When it was time to get out, I couldn’t; my knees had locked up and said, “Where you going?” They thawed for that event, only to lock up again when I was dancing at a 70’s party. Here it comes, y’all…What?!

An x-ray in Bama revealed I had no cartilage in my knees. My cartilage had been deteriorating, and using the press at my neighborhood gym, sealed the coffin.. Word to the wise, do not do anything at a gym without guidance from staff or a trainer. Where you at, Sheila Agnew? (Trainer)

I couldn’t walk without pain, and I definitely could not DANCE, which really tore me up. I was spiraling downward, when Mary Felchlin, a yoga teacher picked me up.. She came to my house daily to teach me a practice that would enable me to move.Bend at the knees, only rubber soles, and no heavy lifting. No jumping. When they swell, you sit down and lift them up.” I adhered to her dictates, did chair yoga postures, then standing, and in two months I was walking (slowly) in Amsterdam and came home to join an African dance class. What?!

When we were dancing. I’m in the blue. POZA Dance Troupe performing.

I’m still walking, (no running), dancing, (no jumping), and knock-on-wood have had no surgery. However, would somebody please tell me why I can be sitting at home, minding my own business when out of the blue, BAM, here comes some obscure pain or ailment. No diagnosis., just a pain in your behind. I know why., it’s this season of ours but I’m here and so are you. I’m grateful, and I ain’t taking nothing for granted.; I’m jammin’ on!!

Joy Juice

How in the world did I consult yoga? My daily meditations allowed me to be open to a different modality for healing. That awareness cannot be diminshed with daily practice of gratitude and stillness. We got this.

“Love has the final word” Rickie Byars

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved


Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash


I am in this great Facebook private group called, Dusty Record Club. You post YouTube oldies and reminisce. I love it.. I go Dancin’ in the Streets with Billy Mack, who told me Don’t Mess with Bill ’cause if you do, you’ll learn That’s How Heartaches are Made. Yes, we bring ’em up and call ’em back. It’s so cool, relaxing, and fun until I hit an oldie like I’m the Last One to be Lovedby Dionne Warwick or You and I, by Stevie Wonder, and any slow Luther. Then, here they come…. first, the memories, then my eyes close in reflection, and finally, a tear rolls down my face. I admit that music can be mesmerizing, but lately, music or not, it seems I just can’t stop crying.  I used to be a baller; now I’m a bawler!

I am blessed to have really wonderful Sistah-friends who have been with me through every transition – births, deaths, and now, life-renewal. (Here I go, crying just thinking about them). If we are watching a film, I’m bawling; talking about a friend in need, I’m bawling. Don’t let me start talking about a loved one who has passed. I do, what Oprah calls, “the ugly cry,” If you feel a life circumstance requires emotion, you can’t seem to muster up, just call old Victoria Falls here; I’ll be your surrogate. Sometimes I think I’m gon’ Drown in My Own Tears. (Thanks, Ray Charles).

I do admit some things are worth crying over. I went to see Just Mercy, a film about the “justice and redemption” in the Alabama criminal justice system. It highlighted the attorney, Bryan Stevenson, who worked to free a man who was falsely imprisoned. When the film was done, I cried. But then I was overwhelmed with the enormity of the crisis in the criminal justice system and I started gulping and crying deeply for all the Black folks maliciously still behind bars; then for the victims honored in Stevenson’s Criminal Justice Museum and Lynching Memorial. When they flashed a picture of his Equal Justice Initiative team, I cried some more for the exoneration of over 135 prisoners and the possibility of hope. Today, that’s how my tears flow and I must say, unapologetically.

The truth is that as we age, our hormones go wacky, and we tend to cry more. Let’s face it; we have more to cry about, especially the pain of losing people we know/love. Two other truths – 1)As an emotional release, crying is good for us, and 2) As we age, we care less about what others think about us. You know me…striving to live in truth. So I’m gon’ continue to Cry, Baby. (Thanks Garnett Mims).

Joy Juice

So many of my days savor in joie de vivre’ for which I give thanks. (I forgot to mention that sometimes I laugh so hard, I cry). However, we never have to apologize for the ability to express emotion; it is a gift.

“Love has the final word.” Ricki Byars

© 2014-20 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved



No Joke…

I was poised to do a long rant about how I suffer from CRS, Can’t Remember S_ _ _.  My friends and I try to get through a conversation without grasping to remember the names of people, places, and things.  I began to worry that it was just me, but I realized we all have the same forgetfulness syndrome called “getting older.”  Our songs:  “Where did I put…,” “What day did I tell you…”  “Oh, Lort!  Here comes somebody I should know and I cannot remember his name…Don’t be mad if I don’t introduce you to him.” I must have at least 4 items of clothing and one pair of earrings I really miss that have disappeared into the cosmos.  My memory will not let me retrieve them.  Well, I think they really did disappear, or my grandsons did away with them. (It’s nice to have grandsons to blame).

As I was preparing to blog, I saw a 60 Minutes segment on Front Temporal Dementia, FTD. I had to ‘stop, drop, and roll’ into compassion for those who are in the midst of this early form of dementia that disables the life of every family member. (Of course, I also Googled to make sure I didn’t have the symptoms that described FTD.)  You know we need to stay away from medical Googling.

This form of dementia is caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain and generally affects people below 60.  However, that female minister profiled on 60 Minutes was as Senior as me, and like her, I’m a minister ! For more insight on FTD, here’s the link for the youtube 60 Minutes episode,  but I just wanted us all to be aware of the nuances of any condition that could diminish our cognitive or physical skills. I know there are many of us that are caring for loved ones with impaired abilities. My compassion also extends to you.

I did not intend to get serious, but we ain’t got time for no mess. So when your friends or family say, “Girl, you need to see a doctor.” Go. When you feel something ain’t right, trust your instincts; dig until you find out what is happening. Oh, and check on your elderly girlfriends and neighbors.  Who hears me?  Can I get an Amen?

I used to throw away those AARP periodicals, but now I browse them for information regarding health and well-being.  No shame in my game; I want to be here in a healthy way, and I want you right here with me.  We may drop names forgotten, but we pick each other up, no joke.

Joy Juice

While wading through any illness, we stay within the knowing that darkness cannot diminish the light. It is always present. We see it in expected and unexpected ways. We remember to give thanks for each breath, and we also affirm our divine health by doing what keeps us that way.

“Love has the final word.”-Ricki Byars

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Photo by Jason Wong on Unsplash


All about us…Come on in…

This Ole Lady

‘Not really that old. Oh no, I am!! I’m 70 + and old enough to experience what most of us have in common about everyday living. I have 3 children, a daughter, son, and son-in-love. I also have two grandsons and one granddaughter. I am a widow of 13+ years who now has a “friend”…”boyfriend”…”guy.”..”a man?” (See? What do you call a guy you are now seeing at age 70+?) I’m sure. we’ll hear more about Mr. K .

I have worked in Sales, as an Administrator in our car business, in ministry as a Pastor, and now as an Inspirational Speaker, publisher/founder/writer for Garden Spices Magazine, an author, and a blogger. I drive several groups on Facebook and I advocate for social and racial justice, and artistic appreciation, doing what I can do. This blog is something I need. Why?

  • I cry on a dime.
  • I can be hazardous!
  • I’m tired!
  • I’m looking for “fresh” everywhere (skin, clothes, adventures)
  • My family drives me bonkers.
  • Voicemail
  • DEVICES!!!
  • etc., etc., etc.

Don’t get it twisted, I know I’m fabulous, but a Sista’ gotta fuss every now and then. There is a wonderful movement called #BLACKGIRLMAGIC. We still have our own kind of magic, it’s just a bit seasoned. – Spicy. I hope to laugh at me, us, and the younguns that will soon become “us.” Of course, I have to sprinkle some of what I call Joy Juice to simmer it down, and “love” always has the final word.

I hope you will SUBSCRIBE, FOLLOW ME, COMMENT, hold up a mirror, and laugh. We deserve it!

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved



Photo by Fey Marin on Unsplash



Long, short, kinky, curly, straight, thin, full, weaved, wigged, colored, natural – hair DON’T CARE! I have seen beautiful sisters with what your mama called their “crown and glory” represented many ways, even with bald beauty. We got it like that! I’m not gon’ fuss about the hair on my head. I have been blessed to have retained most of it. What I’m gon’ fuss about is the hair that grows on my chin.

Why is that I have to shave daily? I have gone through menstruation, childbirth and the menopause sweats from hell, (I still, have them.) So, my reward as a seasoned sister is to look in the mirror and see hair growing on my chin?! What?!!

At first sighting, no problem. They had this thing that was like a file that you rub on your chin and the hair disappeared. Then upon closer examination, I noticed the hair had not disappeared, it was only lying down. What, what?! 

Shaving products

Next, came exfoliating.  It smelled like relaxer.  No could use.  Then came tweezing, which worked until I passed 60 and started looking like Big Foot.  Then, the big guns had to be applied.  I started shaving.  Oh, I have some cute products I use from “As Seen on TV.”  They work fine until I look closely in the mirror and I see this:  Look closely now.  See those little specks of hair?  They should be visible…

My chin

… BECAUSE THEY ARE NOW WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They will not survive!!!

Joy Juice

No matter what our age, hair is prominent to our appearance, but not our beauty. Hair will never define our true essence. Our beauty emanates from within us and is reflected through our every action – our walk, our talk, our smile, our compassion – and we give ourselves to the universe with this embrace. So…chin up!!

“Love has the final word.” -Rickie Byars Beckwith

This post was inspired by Charlene Carter, who exclaimed, “Why didn’t y’all tell me about chin hair?”  And Lois Crabtree, who reminded me, “Don’t forget about the hair turning white.”

Photo by:  Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

I know your memory is short (NEXT POST), but please remember to Like, Reply, and Subscribe.  Thanks so much

Love you,



Bama's Couch…She's Not My Dog!

I used to meditate in my office. Now, I have Bama, my son’s dog. Upon rising, she demands affection. I’m allergic to her so I let her climb on the sofa so I can pet her. I was sitting on that same-year-old family room couch. I thought, “Why do I have to cover my couch because Bama now lives with me?!!!!” Why is Bama living her best life, and I have to alter mine? Then I started to steam up thinking about stuff that works my last nerve. Yes…I said it! And Bama on my couch is one source of my daily frustration. (Now, sing all the words typed in bold Italics and you are singing my blues…all together now…)
Top left: Couch, Top right: Couch with MY pillows, Bottom: Her Highness, Bama, with HER cover
 I know, I know, “Why do you have a white couch?” you ask. ‘Cause I’m grown!!Don’t you love animals?” Yes, I do, other people’s dogs in their homes.
I love Bama. I just don’t like her. I have to drive this diva around, (she doesn’t like to go for walks). About walking. I try taking her to the park and of course, people want to pet Her Highness. Why does she growl? She can’t be sweet to a stranger once in a while?! I have to walk waaay on the other side of other folks for their safety. Of course, we have to stop for playtime, buy her special treats, take her for grooming, to the vet. She’s not my dog!!!!! In the words of Danny Glover, “I’m too old for this s_ _ _!” Yes, she can be a sweetie, and I guess I can count my blessings for having what she needs, but doggone! I mean dog go on and take your owner with you!- (Another story).

Joy Juice

If I hadn’t been sitting with Bama on my couch giving thanks for my blessings and meditating, I would not have listened to Spirit tell me to write about this stuff for you/me.

“Love has the final word.” Rickie Byars

I know some of you are fostering a pet you didn’t ask for. Come on now. Even if the pet is your loving own, let’s hear your pet Comments, and you can post a picture too.
© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved