MyPuzzlePeace: Piecing It Together

From the Inside In

The Struggle is Real

Working on having a “cleaner” diet and cut back on eating out, but…

The struggle is real, lol.
Anyone else battle this? I’m ready to get focused 🙂

NAO

My unsolicited advice to beginning bloggers

Life experiment offered some blogging advice.

lifexperimentblog

Hi there, and thanks for stopping by to scan my unsolicited advice for beginning bloggers post! Now, I am well aware that this post is a bit of a risk. I am not a professional blogger, and I absolutely do not claim to have a plethora of knowledge on the subject. I definitely don’t want to come across as saying ‘blog like me’. The reason I felt compelled to write this post (and am a bit nervous as to how this will be perceived) is that, well, honestly, I’m big on  etiquette. As in – saying ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘May I’ and telling someone when they have something in their teeth. I’ve spent a lot of time cringing at posts with something in their teeth. Although I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who cringe at some of my posts with the same vigor.

As a…

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Mr Fix Nothing

What do you do when you feel like your husband is not “masculine” enough?lazy-2
I don’t typically like to subscribe to gender roles, but for the purpose of this discussion the definition of masculinity is… having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness. A man that isn’t afraid of a little grit and can do some repairs around the house.
I met a woman who is newly wed and currently facing a challenge with her husband. She said she doesn’t find him to be masculine enough and it’s affecting her relationship with him.  Side note* This people is why don’t like to sit at the community table in restaurants; everyone seems to think they can talk to me, just kidding.  I guess I have one of those faces.
So your first thought may be, did she not realize his lack of “masculinity” prior to marrying him? I’m not sure, it sounded to me like they had a long distance relationship prior to being married. She gave me the impression that they did not spend much of their dating time in the same location. That’s not ideal, but not extremely unusual, some people don’t shack up until married. Now that they share a life and a home his laziness, if I may call it that, is coming to light.
Why is she feeling this way? She said, her last boyfriend was a “manly man.” He was the fix shit when it was broken, dirt under his nails, ability to solve a problem, alpha male man. Her husband is apparently the, I’m going to go upstairs to finish my TV show because the repair man’s talking is killing the climatic scene of Luke Cage type.  I can see how that would be frustrating. Going from one man who will fix the broken dishwasher to a man who wont even greet and listen to the repair man is quite a contrast. All she is asking is for her husband to do some stuff around the house; pick up a screwdriver every now and again. Even if it’s just to put it away after she used it to fix something.
Granted, she probably shouldn’t be comparing her husband to her ex boyfriend, but is it wrong to expect your husband to do certain things around the house? It sounds like he expects her to cook and clean. I’m single and I have to snake my own drain, fix my own toilet, fix my own leaky faucet, and  troubleshoot my own household issues.  I don’t have a problem continuing to take care of my home after I get married, but I certainly don’t expect to be taking care of the repairs by myself. Not with a man in the house. If I have to take care of everything myself he might as well not be there, IJS.
This is impacting the way she feels about him, so it’s definitely important to her. You like what you like, but he is who he is. Is it wrong for her to feel this way? What should she do?
Feel free to share your thoughts.
 
NAO

Race Convo with Kids

I saw this pic on Instagram and it spoke to me, thank you Blactivist.pic

There was another senseless killing by the police 9/16/2016, his name was Terence Crutcher. Say his name! Please read this NY Times article if interested in learning more about the man who committed no crime, but had a disabled vehicle, during the day, on a public street , posed no threat, had his hands up, and got shot and killed by the police.

In response to this incident, my sister, who has a 7 year old son, posted the following on Facebook:

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I often wonder if my nieces and nephews recognize that they are Black. You may think that is silly, but I had no idea I was Black until a White person pointed it out to me in kindergarten. To me, I just existed. I was a person. I didn’t know there was a difference between me and any other person. Of course I noticed the difference in people’s skin color, but my mother’s skin color was different from mine, my brother’s skin color was different from mine (they are lighter) and we are family. So it didn’t dawn on me that I was “different.” I did notice however that the neighborhood this White girl, in 7th grade, called Niggersville had residents that looked like me, Black.

Each day as I watch the news and see more and more instances of police brutality against people who look like me and the people I love, I wonder, when do you talk about race to children. A black female high school student was dragged out of her chair by a police officer. Black teenagers were attacked by police officers while at a community pool. A 12 year old Black boy was shot and killed for playing with a toy gun. A 13 year old Black boy was shot and killed by the police, he had a BB gun. A 7 year old Black boy was handcuffed at school with ADHD. A 6 year old Black girl was handcuffed at school for taking candy. A 7 year old Black boy was handcuffed at school for crying. I can go on and on; these are just the incidents I remember off the top of my head and involve children. Black children are in a unique situation. For some reason society does not recognize they are CHILDREN! For some reason Blackness in youth does not equal innocence in the eyes of many.

Let me share a quick story. When I was in high school my mother lived in an apartment complex that had a pool. I went to the pool with a couple of my friends who were all Black. This White lady, who was not at the pool said from her balcony that we needed to leave because we didn’t live there. How she figured that was beyond me, but I suppose she felt Black people didn’t belong.  She wanted to see my pass and I refused. We argued and she threatened to call the cops. I said call them because I know that I had permission to be there, my friends told me to stand down and we left. It bothers me that the White lady ruined my day because of her racist outlook on life. Is it fair that I had to leave? NO. Would it have been worth being tackled by the cops? No. I left the pool feeling worthless and reminded of Niggersville.

I am sure that many will read the incidents above and blame the victim… I should’ve just shown the lady who I did not know and who had no any authority my pass, the girl shouldn’t have spoken back and complied with the police, the teens at the pool should’ve left and respected authority, the boy shouldn’t have had a toy gun, the girl shouldn’t have stole candy, the boy shouldn’t have been crying, etc… How about the police should have sensitivity training and learn to deescalate a situation. How about toy guns are sold in Walmart or any other store where toys are sold. How about ask questions when entering a situation. No one ever sees a problem with the police and their tactics when it comes to Blackness, but let the police shoot a dog…

Should people have a healthy respect for the police? Probably. Does continually hearing and reading stories like the few I mentioned help the public respect and have faith in the police? NO. Does it teach the community to fear and hate the police? Yes. So what do we teach our children, who are engaged and more aware than any other generation before due to social media?

Do we teach them comply with the police? Apparently when you’re Black it can still cost your life. Do we tell them keep your hands visible? Apparently when you’re Black it can still cost your life. Do we tell them to stay silent? Apparently when you’re Black it can still cost your life. Do we tell them to record footage of the situation? Serves no purpose because even with evidence people still blame the victim when you’re Black. Do we teach them their rights as an American citizen? Apparently it doesn’t matter because the police do not care about their rights.

This is a very tough discussion to have, but we have to have a conversation to protect our children. Mind you this is not just a Black problem; it’s an American problem. Nothing makes me angrier than someone justifying injustice against Blacks by saying, “Well, white people are killed more often or white people pulled over more…” That is called a Red Herring, an attempt to distract from the issue at hand. Police brutality impacts us all and instead of us standing together as a people we are divided as a nation. Black people are disproportionately targeted. People are angrier about PEACEFUL protest than they are about police brutality against Black people.

This isn’t a topic that should be ignored or our children shielded from. It is the reality of today and we have to arm our children with the proper knowledge to enable them to survive. I don’t have any children and I’m not sure what to advise her. If I had to guess what I would do…

  1. I think I would talk to my child about each incident as it is reported and advise my child to stay clear of the police at all cost. In the event you need the police, make sure to communicate clearly and not give them a reason to shoot you because apparently they scare easily. 
  2. I would advise my child as he/she sees an incident about to escalate to call me, his/her father, or a family member and leave unless detained.
  3. I would advise my child prior to their being an incident that could potentially involve the police to walk away.
  4. I also personally would never buy my child a toy gun, but that’s aside the point.

Although these words sound good, it bothers me to know I have to teach my child to back down even if they are in the right. I guess I can think of it as raising my child to be the bigger person because I know that many members of the police force are not trained to be that person.

Do you have discussions about race with your children? Do you have discussion on police brutality? Do you have discussion on any social issues? Feel free to share and responses can be anonymous.

NAO

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Escapada de Puerto Rico

Hola, Como estas?

I went on a Girls Getaway to Puerto Rico and had a BLAST! I would’ve posted a pic that included them, but I feel weird about putting other people’s image out there.img_2458

 

My friends and I went to Puerto Rico for Labor Day weekend, there were eight of us in total . I will admit, that I was smidge nervous about traveling with so many women especially since I have never traveled with some of them, but it was actually an awesome experience. Bonding. Relaxing. Laughing. Partying. Drinking. What more does one need in a fabulous vacation? A man and sex probably!

 

We didn’t all stay in one room, but there was enough of us in one room where I mentally prepared myself for aggravation. I’m the type of person who does not like to waste my day, it drives me crazy when people are slow and take hours to get up and ready. This was NOT that experience, I don’t know how we did it, but we were up and out in under two hours most days. The first day we woke up around 630 am to catch our 8 am bus to go to El Yunque rainforest. Not only were we early for the bus, we were able to sit down to  breakfast AND go to the gift shop for water and water shoes. I was impressed!!

 

For the most part, we managed to do everything together. Another thing that I was a little worried about. Usually when there are so many people no one wants to do the same thing. Not us!! We went to El Yunque rainforest, Old San Juan, The Bacardi Distillery, La Placita to party (met some guys), the beach…. It was amazing! When people weren’t feeling good and went back or stayed in the room, it was all good. On another note, I don’t know what the bartenders in PR put in their drinks, but they taste like juice, yet the next morning I struggled to get my life, lol. My head was like, “bittcchhhh, you need to chill today.” I didn’t chill tho, I don’t listen, I  went to Bacardi to learn how to make three drinks. I’m a certified pro, according to the distillery anyway. I actually think the rum cured my headache. Thank you Bacardi!!

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We did have one sketchy moment where I thought, Oohhh laawwd, my sis ‘bout to lay them hands on somebody. So, three of us were walking down the street and we were talking about something that occurred earlier in the day. For some reason this group of young girls thought we were talking about them. When I walked past them I said, “have a good night ladies” and kept going chatting with my friends. Apparently they started talking trash and my sister, who is the smallest of the group, turned around and started to pop off. Now of course that means I gotta turn around, cause what you not ‘bout to do is talk crazy to my sister. Only I can do that, hehe. My friend extinguished the situation. Brawl and arrest averted, I just can’t… I saw this meme on Facebook and it said, we are in the backseat of a police car and I turn to you and say… I said, “I can’t with you” my sister said, “hehe, my bad.” FYI, my sister claims she is shy, side eye on that one!

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We had such a good time, we decided to have an annual trip. We’re thinking about Turks and Caicos for next year. Except for one friend who is engaged, we are all single, so hopefully this is something we can continue. These are relationships I hope to maintain. You always hear people say that women can’t be friends. I beg to differ, I have a great circle of friends. Why do people think that women can’t be friends with other women? Maybe it is they who can’t be friends, hhmm something to consider.

 

NAO

For Her. For Him. For Us.

7d7f6ea5184ff4f2d8768924bfbcd0e2 I was listening to For Her by Ricardo Del Rio this morning on Spotify and it made me think about a man I met recently. We went from strangers to I kinda like him, to OMG what did I get myself in to, to good riddance in two weeks. That has got to be a new record for a man pissing me off, lol. This man, in my opinion, had a very structured life and no room for a woman in it. It must be true what people say, don’t stay single for too long because it will be hard to share your life. This guy was 40 and said his last girlfriend was in high school; should’ve been clue number one.

We were somewhat alike, although it didn’t seem that we had much in common. How does that work? I don’t know, but it’s true we were similar just on opposite sides of the spectrum. I was willing to get to know him because he did have qualities that I did like. After a few convos, however, it became clear that it probably wouldn’t work, especially since he said he doesn’t like strong women which I am. He was very much an Alpha Male and we clashed on every topic especially those that involved how he wants to live his life in the future. One day I told him that I feel like he has his whole life planned and just wants a woman who he could plug into her place. Yes, her place.

For Her made me think about how we need to be open to compromise after a certain age for relationships to work. It has been at least 6 years since I had to share my life with another person or consider another person’s feelings. I’m ready, but it didn’t seem to me that he was. You’re probably wondering how did I know that in only two weeks. It was the way he spoke to me, he would not waiver in his ideas, and he was somewhat controlling. I don’t think he was a bad guy, just not a good match for me. Thanks a lot Eharmony, with those commercials that come on every five minutes. Thanks a lot sis-in-law who convinced me to sign up, you both get the side eye. Ha, just kidding, sort of.

Next guy I meet I am going to consider if I come off the same way this dude came off to me. I want the next man to be open to make changes for me, me for him, and we for us.

Is there a such thing as being single too long? What do you think?

Anyway, check out the song, For Her by Ricardo Del Rio on Spotify, it’s pretty cool.

NAO

Trump’s Impact on Black Dating

I’ve never used my blog to discuss politics, but this is getting out of hand and I’ve had three dating experience that have been impacted by political beliefs. Thank you Trump for inspiring my first blog post of the year. Never thought I’d thank him for anything.

I am first going to respond to Trump’s question about what Black people have to lose by supporting him, which I also previously posted on FB.

How about my life? That’s something I value. How about the life of my family? That’s something I value. How about the life of every person in this country who looks like me, male or female? That’s something I value. Those are big things to lose under leadership who’s rhetoric is so filled with hate and white supremacy that his mindless drones have a mission to shoot and kill people on sight who look like me. I do not feel safe in the skin that I’m in and there’s nothing I can do about it except not vote for Trump, because it won’t make anything any better, but can definitely make things worse. Because I value my life and all the lives of those who look like me, I have A LOT to lose!! ✊🏾🇺🇸 ‪#‎blacklivesmatters ‪#‎mylifematters ‪#‎alottolose

Now how does this relate?

I went on a blind date with a man that I was introduced to by a friend. I should’ve known his ass was crazy after I Googled him, but I’ll respect his privacy. It was going alright, yes, just alright, in the beginning, and was on a steady decline. I just wasn’t feeling his personality. It was time for me to go, however, when he informed me that he does not vote. I asked, “How can you not vote?” Of course no good response. He does not vote at all in any capacity, presidential, local, amendments, nothing!! I thought that was so ignorant. All that we as Black people have endured to get the right to vote, he was just throwing it away and thought it was funny. If we don’t have anything else, we have our voice and he opts to throw it away. No respect; no second date.

I met a second individual, a White man. For the most part, I exclusively date Black men because it is what I like, it is what I am attracted to, and Black men are who I think I would have more in common with. Anyway, I am trying to be open, I don’t have a problem with White men, just not what I’m dawn to. Very first conversation he informs me he is voting for Trump. I agree, you can vote for whoever you want. I can entertain a relationship with whoever I want. This isn’t going to work. Last phone convo. I like to think that I am an opened minded person, but there has been not one thing that Trump has ever said that I can respect or support. Heck the dude wasn’t even able to say anything, he just didn’t like Hillary. Trump does not value my life or those who look like me and he is verbal about it. In fact he doesn’t value anyone other than himself and his supporters are a distant second if that. Any man who would consider dating a Black woman, could not have possible thought his opinions on supporting Trump would go over well. I could possibly have gotten over the fact that he was a Republican, but not the Trump supporter!

Third experience, this man and I were having a political discussion. He does not support Trump or Hillary. I hear that a lot, ok, let’s discuss. I asked him, what is his problem with Hillary. His response, “I don’t know, there is just something about her.” Ok, again you can support whomever you choose, but I believe you should be an educated voter. I don’t think anyone has to support Hillary, but I find it strange when you are adamant you don’t like someone and yet have NO idea as to why. It just makes you look silly. He is just on the bandwagon. He does not have an opinion of his own. Not a very attractive quality. That’s over!

In my opinion, political values need to be in line. We may not always agree, but when your values contradict mine, we are in for a life of disagreements and disrespect.

Let me know your thoughts. Would you date someone who’s political beliefs are a contrast to yours?

 

NAO

 

 

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