The greatest gift my mother ever gave me…

In the 43 years of my life, my mother has always been my strongest supporter, even when she knew and/or believed I was making some silly/terrible mistake that she knew she couldn’t save me from or knew that saving me from it wouldn’t help me learn from my own experiences.

My parents taught me to walk and talk, to read and write, to be a good citizen, to work and play well with others, to brush my teeth in the morning and before going to bed, to wipe my rump, to blow my nose, to tie my shoes, to cook my own meals, to manage my money, to be self-sufficient but to know I could depend on them if I ever took on more than I could handle, to believe in my abilities, to love the me that God created me to be and learn about Martin and Malcolm; Booker T. and W.E.B. and all the ancestors before, between and after them, to help those I could help and know my limits when helping others would be a detriment to my own well-being and so much more.

My daddy taught me to “go ask your mother.” 😆 He also taught me that a B+ was beneath me when I definitely had the knowledge and skills to get the A+. He taught me how to think and learn for myself by directing me to the proper references when I asked him, “Daddy, what does thus-and-such mean?” This is a lesson my brother, Carson III, continues to reiterate to our father every chance he gets (inside joke between my daddy, my brother and me 🙂 ).


The best lesson I’ve learned from my mother is the greatest gift she ever shared with me and my siblings…

I can remember, even when I was as young as five and six, that my mother never told any of us–my older sister, me and my younger brothers–that she would do something and then she didn’t do it.

There were a lot of “we’ll see” moments when I was growing up, and even now, but once my mother said she’d do this or that, give this or that, help with this or that, it was like a commandment written on a stone tablet.

It is truly a blessing to have at least one human in my life, because God will never fail me, who I can 100% depend on to be a woman of her word, point blank and period.

Momma has often said, “No,” and I’ve been disappointed in that I didn’t get what I wanted. However, Momma has more often said, “Yes,” and I knew that her “yes” was solid and firm.

I’ll give you an example…

[spoiler title=”click to see example or don’t click to skip it”]When I was in college, I ran up a very high phone bill accepting collect calls from my then-boyfriend who was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. I couldn’t pay it, and my home phone got cut off.

Please keep this in mind: it was before cellphones became popular, and I was living in Washington, DC. At that time, DC was labeled the “Murder Capitol of the World.” It wasn’t just the murder capital of the nation. It was the murder capital of the world, and since I didn’t have a home phone I would have to use the payphone on the corner when I needed to make calls.


Long before I’d been foolish enough to run up this $1,500 telephone bill, my mother had told all of us that she would never pay our phone bills for us. What she said, and I’m paraphrasing just a bit here, was, “You can’t always control the heating bill, because there might be a bad winter and you have to use more gas. I’ll help you with that, but don’t ask me to help you pay a high telephone bill. That’s something you can control. You don’t have to call every friend you have long distance and sit on the phone for hours at a time talking about stuff you can put in a letter.” (yes, this was way back when we were still mailing letters :lol:)


I run up this bill, get the phone cut off and live with going to the payphone for a few weeks. Of course, I got tired of that, and I thought, “I know my parents worry about me living all by myself in DC, so if I play the “safety” angle, Momma will help me get my phone turned back on.”

Keep in mind, though: my mother’s word is her bond.


I call home and have the following conversation with Momma (again I’m paraphrasing):

Me: “Hey, ma. What’chu doing?”

Momma: “Thus and such. What’chu up to?”

Me: “I have a problem.”

Momma: “What?”

Me: “My phone got cut off.”

Momma: “Why?”

Me: “Jerome is stationed in Germany, and I was accepting his collect calls because he is homesick and…”

Momma: “OK.”

Me: “Well, can you help me get the phone turned back on, because right now I’m having to come down to the corner and use the payphone, and it’s 9 at night and I don’t feel safe being out here on the phone. Anyone could come up on me and hit me over the head or something. I’ll pay you back. You know I will, so can you help me?”

Momma: “No.”

Me: silence

Momma: “Anything else?”

Me: “No.”

Momma: “Well, let me get back to what I was doing. I love you.”

Me: “I love you, too.”

[call disconnected]

I know my mom and dad were worried about me not having a phone. I mean, I didn’t have a phone for about two years. However, it never occurred to me to ask again or to be angry that they wouldn’t help me pay off that bill. My mother was right on many counts: I had no business running up the bill. I didn’t have to be out at the payphone when it was dark if I planned my calling times accordingly. I already knew that they weren’t going to help me with my telephone bill. I’d actually disobeyed her by even asking for help with the telephone bill.[/spoiler]


I say all that to say this…

Every time I break my word to someone, I immediately think about how it goes against everything my parents emulated for me when I was growing up. Although I focused more on my mother, my daddy was the same way, but he did defer quite a bit to my mother, so she was the one giving us her word more times than not.

The purpose of this post is two-fold:

1) I was talking to a friend who was telling me how her spouse tells their children he will do something, but he hardly ever follows through, and it got me to thinking about my own experience with my parents and I just wanted to get my feelings out in written form.

2) I also want my parents to know that the life lessons they worked so hard to instill in their children were not taught in vain. Even though we may not always do the right thing, we definitely know the right thing to do.

Tammie, Daddy, Carson III (Boo), Momma, Tyrone, Faydra

Thanks, Momma and Daddy, for being the parents God called you to be. I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn for my siblings when I say we love you, we respect you and we will always honor and cherish you.

Don’t be a blessings blocker

You’ve either witnessed this scenario (or something similar to it) or created it (or something similar to it):

Them: Oh, my goodness! You did such a great job on this. It was way more than I expected. Please take this (insert monetary value here) for all the extra work you did.

You: Oh, no, I couldn’t. I am happy to do it free. You don’t need to pay me.

Them: I insist. Please. You worked so hard and did so much more than you needed to do. I want to.

You: You don’t have to do that.

Them: I know, but I want to.

You: I don’t want you to think I did the extra just to make you feel like you should pay me.

Them: I don’t think that at all. Please take this. I want you to have it.

You: I couldn’t.

Them: Please.

You: I don’t feel right about taking your money.

Them: You’re not taking my money. I’m giving you what I think your time is worth.

You: No, thank you, but I appreciate you being willing to pay me.

Then you walk away thinking you’ve done something noble, but in the back of your mind you think, “Dang, I could have used that to put a little gas in the car or pay my cellphone bill…” or something like that.

My philosophy is this…

Be a blessing, get a blessing, but don’t only seek a blessing while being a blessing.

Regardless of whether you are spiritual, religious, worldly, whatever, the universe is cyclical:

Give and it shall be given unto you…

What goes around comes around…

What you sow so shall you reap…

You gotta give to get…

It’s all about the karma, dude…

You do dirt, you get dirt…

Bless others so that you might be blessed…

Bottom line…

It’s not always about you!

You do the work from the goodness of your heart, and the other party wants to compensate you from the goodness of his/her heart.

Let it happen!

They don’t need you to tell them they don’t have to do it. They already know that, and they’ve chosen to compensate you in some way for your time, your talent and/or your willingness to be a help to them. Their giving to you will in turn allow them to receive from others. I mean, they’ve already received your good works, so let them do their good works by you.

Did you ever think that refusing to allow someone else to bless you blocks their blessings, too?

Cupid derives from the word, cupidity. Do you know what cupidity means?

I looked up the word cupid last year on

Towards the end of the page, I saw this:

I’d never heard the word, cupidity, so I was curious to see it’s meaning.

This is what I found:

I also learned that synonyms to cupidity are covetousness, avidity, hunger, acquisitiveness.

Further down the page on it says…

I decided last year to forego any Valentine’s Day activities, but I totally respect your choice to exercise your free will to do as you please.

I’m going to appreciate my family, my guy and my friends loving me everyday without condition and without the added expense, and I’ll reciprocate in kind. 🙂


SolaPress’ first client’s eBook is available!

I originally created my first publishing company, Sola Mente Publishing, to publish my own books, and then I had the bright idea that I’d help others get published.

So I started SolaPress!

I’m happy to announce that my first client’s eBook is now available on Amazon!

Shook by Maxine Brothers

To the world outside her home, Kara is a professional student. She has multiple degrees and seems to be interested in acquiring more.

To the world inside her home, Kara is a stone-cold, 30-year-old assassin.

When her mother is killed, she decides it’s time to get out of “The Life,” but she’s planning to leave the game in a much different way than one might expect.

Now that it’s time to get out, Kara has decided to leave “The Life” shook.

Her biography…

Maxine Brothers has been an writer since the day she first picked up a pen. She is an inspiration to other writers, providing both support and assurance in the endeavors of others. She has exercised her abilities through different creative writing means, i.e. poetry and stories, coupled with article submissions to magazines. Ms. Brothers has worked on different projects offering opportunities to other lovers of the arts. The articles she submits to magazines vary from poetry submissions to advice columns to general informative pieces. Additionally, Maxine offers other artist the ability to showcase their work through the different magazines she writes for. In conjunction with writing, Ms. Brothers has worked with other artist to hold different poetry events and artist showcase events. Her accomplishments thus far are only the beginning.

I’m looking forward to helping more authors get published! If you’re interested, check out the information SolaPress!

My plan to get a Kindle Fire for free

Back in April 2010, I got the Kindle DX (the big’un 🙂 ) for free by helping save a friend’s business quite a bit of money.

He asked me what I wanted for helping him, and I told him I’d like a Kindle.

He pulled out his iPhone on the spot, went to and looked up Kindles.

“You want the big one or the little one,” he asked me. After hesitating for a moment, because I didn’t want to take advantage, I decided to just got for it.

“I’d like the big one, please,” I told him. His reply?

“You want the leather case for it?”

“Yes,” I said. He touched in the information and put the iPhone back in his pocket.

“You’ll have it in a few days,” he said.


Since I got my DX, I’ve rarely missed a day of reading from it. I love that thing!


I have a birthday coming up on 24 October, and I told my parents I don’t NEED anything, but I’d like to have the new Kindle Fire.

There’s no guarantee I’ll get more than a birthday card and a phone call from them, so I have a Plan B if that doesn’t work out.

I mean, my parents’ love is all I really have to have from them on any day of the year, including my birthday.

And, cut…

So my plan B for getting my Kindle Fire free, if mom and dad only send me their love and a Hallmark card (I’ll be turning it over to check), is to use the Amazon Trade-In Program.


You don’t know about the Amazon Trade-In Program?

What the snarky?!?!


You’ve got to learn about the Amazon Trade-In Program.

At first, I thought it was only for college textbooks, but then I discovered they’ll take trade-ins on loads (yes, I picked that up from watching Harry Potter movies; anyway…) of stuff!


Let’s back up just a smidge.

You don’t think I’m trading in my Kindle DX, do you?

As Erika Alexander’s character said in Mama Flora’s Family

“Don’t you be talkin’ blasphemy!”

OK, it’s not that serious, but I will be keeping my DX even after I get the Kindle Fire.

Each Kindle will serve two, separate purposes.

The DX will be my main device for leisure reading, just as it is now.

The Fire, because it’s a full-color, touch-screen device, will allow me to watch Amazon Instant Video, and I’ll also employ it when I teach using a resource that has color images, like Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 Classroom in a Book or HTML5 in Easy Steps.

OK, so back to Plan B and the Amazon Trade-In Program

Like I was saying…

It’s not just for trading in college textbooks. Amazon is accepting good-to-brand-new items in the following categories:

Don’t think you’re going to get back most of what you paid for your items, though.

The trade-in amounts on many items are modest, at best.

However, for me, this isn’t a concern.

I mean, I’m trying to declutter, so being able to get a little credit for things I’m trying to get rid of anyway is a bonus.

Amazon allows you to send the items to them for free. They pick up the cost of shipping.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how my plans turn out, but I’m going to be the owner of a Kindle Fire soon. That’s not optional.

UPDATE: Mom and Dad didn’t get me a Kindle Fire for my birthday, so Plan B is in full effect. 😀

Anything he can do, I can

…not do better.

If you don’t believe there’s a God, click here.

You may find something more interesting and/or entertaining over there.

Now back to what I was saying…

Why is “anything he can do, I cannot do better” on my mind?

I’m sitting here watching episodes of “Lost,” and the Kate character is getting on my last nerve.

Anytime there’s a place to go or something to do, no matter how dangerous it may be, she wants to be a part of it. She wants to do it, even when other people would be better suited to the task. She wants to have it, even if someone else will benefit from it more.


I just want to yell at the television, “GO SOMEWHERE AND SIT DOWN, KATE!”


Alas, I know yelling at the television doesn’t do any good, so I just sit here and itch.

Now I know that there are a plethora of things both men and women can do equally. We’re both human, so that’s a given.


There are other things that women shouldn’t do, even though they’re able.

I can lift very heavy loads when I have to, because there’s no man around to help me, but I prefer not to do so if the opposite sex is around and doesn’t mind helping me out. Straining our bodies in ways we were never created to do doesn’t do us any good in the long run. We’ll just have complications later.

Years ago, I read an article about a girl who was suing her high school. She fought the school system to play varsity football, won and then was majorly injured from being hit unmercifully by her teammates in a regular practice. She had to have several surgeries to repair and remove organs that had been damaged or destroyed when she was viciously tackled and then the rest of the defensive line piled on top of the other players with her at the bottom.

I have no idea how the lawsuit turned out. She claimed that the coaches should have protected her from this kind of treatment. Yet she wanted to be treated in all other ways like one of the guys. Uh-huh.

Anyway, if men and women were suppose to do exactly the same things in all things, why didn’t God just make one gender and call it a day. He would have gotten to rest much sooner if he had.

I’m cool with being a woman, and I don’t have a burning need to do everything men do.

I mean, why should I want to pee standing up? It’s so much more relaxing to sit down. 😆

OK, I’ll stop.


So much to do…

Top of the mind today is “make it happen.”

I’ve got a million and one things to do, and I don’t know where to start. So I’m not going to worry about starting with the perfect thing.

I’m just going to do the first thing that comes to mind and then the second and then the third.

Soon… everything will be accomplished.

I can spend time planning, or I can spend time doing.

I plan to do. Period.

Who are YOU to pray for me?

I was just on Facebook, and I got an instant message from someone I don’t even know.

Here’s the conversation:

Her: we are praying for you today

Me: Thank you. Any particular reason I made your prayer list?

Her: God Bless- The Lord led me to pray for you today The trials and hardship are about to have a breakthrough for a testimony in your life – You have a strong voice for the Lord and He is preparing you to speak it

Me: Awesome! Thanks for being obedient to Him.

Her: Be Blessed

Me: Thank you. You be blessed, also.

When I got the first instant message, my initial reaction was to be skeptical.

As a Believer, that’s not the most desirable first reaction to have. I mean, just because I didn’t know this person doesn’t mean God didn’t tell her to pray for me. It doesn’t mean God didn’t give her a message for me.

I immediately checked that reaction and became grateful.

I mean, God sent Jesus and we didn’t know Him either, but He prophesied and prayed for us and told us to follow His example, so who am I to question who God sends to pray for me?

I’m just glad He’s paying attention.

Lord, thank you for the flooded basement…seriously

Yesterday was a challenge for me.

Tropical Storm Lee dumped lots and lots of rain on my neck of the woods in Virginia, and thanks to the earthquake we had a few weeks ago there are now cracks in the foundation of the townhouse I rent.

Through those cracks came the water, and the water ruined several boxes of my book inventory for my online bookstore.

As I cleaned up the mess, and had to keep going down and up the stairs throughout the day to use my carpet-cleaning machine to suck up the water before it ruined more boxes of books, I couldn’t help thinking:

“At least I have a basement to flood. At least I’m dry. At least I’m not standing in the doorway of a store trying to keep from getting wet…”

and so on.

I mean, I was frustrated, disappointed, sad, stressed and all that from the damage being done to the basement and the books, but it could be much worse, and it was much worse for those who couldn’t say “at least I have a basement” or “at least I have a roof over my head.”

The water in my basement wasn’t nearly as bad as the flooding in New York and Pennsylvania. I didn’t have to evacuate my living space because the water was wading height. The most I lost was time away from working on projects for clients, about 2% of my book inventory and all the extra calories I burned from walking down and up the steps, sucking up the water with the carpet-cleaning machine and moving 35-pound boxes to dryer locations.

So, thank you, God, for the flood in the basement. You always know how to show me that You’re there, and I’m blessed to have You in my life.

Romans 8:28

No rugs/carpet in the bathroom

So I went to the doctor’s office yesterday, because I’ve been having so much trouble sleeping since the earthquake and Hurricane Irene.

She prescribed a non-habit-forming sleep aid that I took last night. It worked OK, because I only took one pill and not two. She said it would knock me out for 10 hours, and I didn’t want to be down that long. Whew. I slept from about 8:30p until about 3-something. After I woke up the first time, I was able to go back to sleep until about 6a.

My doctor’s visit also revealed I’ve put back on almost 20 pounds. Not cool. So I got up this morning and went to the gym. I did an hour on the elliptical. The chicks on either side of me were going way faster than me, but I was just glad to be moving my body. I have a cruise in two months, and I am not going to be on the boat and be as big as a boat.

I came home, shaved my head and took a nice, long shower. It felt good after the workout.

So, what’s up with the title of this post?

I have this thing about rugs in the bathroom.

Since I don’t require people to remove their shoes at the front door, and I don’t do it either, I’ve always had this thing against rugs and/or carpet in the bathroom.

I mean, you go in there and use the toilet or sink with your shoes on and whatever’s on the bottom of your shoes becomes a part of the rug/carpet. Then you bathe/shower and step out with wet, bare feet on the same rug/carpet that’s there when you were in the bathroom in your shoes. Ewe.

I have a bath mat that I put down when I bathe/shower to step out on, but it goes over the side of the tub when I’m done. I don’t leave it on the floor to be stepped on when I’m in the bathroom in my shoes.

Call me crazy or weird, but everybody’s got their something.