Posted in Just a Thought

Challenge Accepted

Well hello, friends,

I have been out of commission for a little over a week now, and it made me think about at-risk youth.  Many people shy away from the children and young adults labeled “troubled” or unreachable.  Now, I will say this, some kids really know how to test anyone’s patience.  At the same time, if you have only learned one way of doing something, and you have not had the opportunity to be exposed to something else, you tend to stick to what works.  How many ways and times can you be told you’re not good enough, something is wrong with you, you’re ugly, or you’re just not?  It takes a special type of person to peel back each layer of pain, trauma, hurt, low self-esteem, and anger.  Even after getting to the root of the problem, there is still the need to, not only cultivate a positive relationship but now, you must get to work on helping them recognize their talents. Yep, even “those kids” have talents.  I recently took a step back in time and visited one of the Youth Challenge Academies.  It was an amazing experience, and my heart swelled with pride.  There is something to be said about the children who find you years later to tell you what an impact you had on their lives.  It made me consider becoming a mentor for children in the program.  The location of the program may be a tad too far of a drive for me to return to full-time work, but I love volunteering.  What better way to give back and prepare for the future? 

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe programs provide many students with amazing second-chance.  For some Cadets, it is a first chance to realize that they are capable of amazing things.  While the program is quasi-military, no one is pushing joining the military.  Now, some cadets graduate and join a branch of military service, others also continue to study trades, pursue advanced education, or join the workforce.  It would be great for every student enrolled to reach their potential.  Unfortunately, all students do not go on to graduate.  The good thing is cadets are exposed to 8 core components that they can carry with them for life.  If you know students, at-risk youth, or a 16-18-year-old teen needing an extra push.  Check out the websites below.  Every child is reachable, you may need to modify your methods.

https://www.jointservicessupport.org/ngycp/virginia/virginia-commonwealth-challenge-youth-academy

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’

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Posted in Just a Thought, Story Time

Mundane to Magnificent

Some days you have to find enjoyment in the small things.  This week started out a little rough, complete with a little Monday morning blues and a mountain climb to hump day.  In the midst of my mucky Monday, I met an awesome U. S. Marine Corps veteran.  We happened to be heading in the same direction. 

It all started when I asked, “How are you?” That’s when the fun began. We’ll call him Harry. 

Harry started by saying, “Well, I’m a little slowful. I wanted to spread my wings, and I left my cane at home.  Don’t you see how I’m walking?  Well, now you know why.” 

Even though he talked about his slow shuffle, he was still cheerful.  I knew I was in for a treat. 

I asked him where he was headed, and to this, he replied, “Are you being nice to me ‘cause you want me to add you in my will?”

All I could do was laugh, and replied, “No. I don’t want to be in your will, but I am concerned about you falling down on this hard ground.”

“You know, I got two eyes, but both of them half work.  These glasses just sit on my face for decoration,” he said.

“Do you think you need new glasses,” I asked

“I don’t rightly know. I ain’t no eye doctor. You forgot that quick? That’s where we going,” Harry said.

“You are a mess,” I said with a giggle.

“Well, how about this?  I should fall right down, right here on this slippery floor.  Guess what?” Harry asked.

“What’s that?” I asked him.

“Once I fall, I can call the big-time injury lawyer, and I’ll split the money with you,” Harry said, in a whisper.

I laughed, I mean laughed myself to tears, “I am not going to let you fall, but you are too funny,” I said.

We continued to walk down the hall, and Harry stopped and turned to me.

“Say, you are a good woman,” he said.

“Well, thank you,” I replied.

“Are you married?” Harry asked.

“Yes sir, 18-years,” I replied.

“Me, too!” he said with a smile, “I’ve done it three times, and I’ve been married thirty-three years to this one.  I’ll tell you what, let’s call your husband collect to see if he realizes how good he’s got it,” Harry said, “If he don’t know what he got then I’ll go to the store and get you a little wedding band, and we can go to the hospital chapel and get married.”

I was so tickled, it made him laugh.

“Come on now, call your mister collect,” he said, wiping his eyes in between laughs.

“I am not calling him, and we are almost at your clinic,” I smiled.

“Now, you are starting to get on my nerves,” he chuckled.  If I didn’t know he was joking, I would have been sad.

“Who am I going to talk to in here?  I enjoyed this, it was nice talking to you.  You a good woman, and you tell your Mister I said so,” Harry said.

“Well, thank you, sir.  Be careful when you get ready to leave,” I said.

“I’m an old Marine!  I’ll be just fine.  I still got one good eye,” he said, offering me a salute.

I had never encountered Harry before, and he made my day.  I smiled thinking about how he made little jokes and made light of his predicament.  This man (I found out as we talked) is 84-years-old and other than his blurred vision, and slow walk, he was still light as a feather and happy about life.  His energy was awesome, and It worked to turn a mundane Monday into magnificent Monday.  So, for today, I hope this story reminds you to guard your energy.  Some people can make you feel drained, and it may be difficult to completely avoid them.  Just be aware.

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’

Posted in Just a Thought

Dancing Anyone?

Greetings friends,

Disclaimer: There might be some smiling involved, and some of this may be eyebrow-raising.

There are so many things going on in the world that could drive anyone bonkers. You can take your pick; Virginia, Venezuela, Syria, and everywhere you turn. Now, let me say this, of course, I have an opinion about each of these situations, but I choose not to dwell on it. Instead, I prefer to be grateful. So many of us engage in heated debates, causing rises in blood pressure, words that slice and heal slow. So, my goal from the beginning is to share resources and laughs. Yes, stand for the things we believe in, but there is a time and a place for everything. A smart lady shared a post today, and it spoke to me. Sometimes, you have to know when to stay silent and watch.

Anyhoo, today, I was thinking of one of my favorite things to do. So, for my first February post, I wanted to share some fantastic dance videos. Most of these dances I cannot do. It probably would have been hilarious to watch me attempt them. Unfortunately, I am not quite ready for the blooper series. So, I hope you enjoy this diverse collection of dancers/choreographers that I follow. Let me say this; they are not in any particular order. I love all of them.

 Petit Afro

When I started watching these videos, I was hooked. These videos show, men, women, boys, and girls dancing and having a great time. Now, I probably would pop a screw from my ankle for attempting this, but I might try it (in slow motion). Maybe, I’ll get an opportunity to meet the mastermind, and he can teach me.

MattSteffanina2- “Controlla”

This guy is super talented, and he is funny, too!  I don’t think I would attempt this one.  I would surely break something. Take a look.

Bachatwins

You know I had to throw this in.

Misty Copeland

Her talent speaks for itself!

Alvin Ailey Dance

I grew up with visions of dancing with the Alvin Ailey Dance company.  The dances are beautiful.  Every year, I would find a show, and I would sit in the audience, studying every move, every pointed toe.

Soul Train

I couldn’t talk about dancing without adding a little Soul Train. I would love to find some of this attire. Some of the dance moves make my back hurt, but they sure had fun.

Dances A-Z from Around the World

I always find dances from around the world exciting. I still want to learn them. Sometimes, I’m successful. Most times, I enjoy watching others.

If you like the video, explore more.  Look up some of the dance fail videos. Look up the cue animal dancing videos, but get a good belly laugh, and as always…

Keep pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’

Posted in Just a Thought

Hot Fresh Donuts

Now, I have been known to cut across three lanes of traffic (safely) to get to Krispy Kreme for the neon hot sign.  Let me tell you, there is no need to wait on the hot sign.  If you happen to venture into Richmond, Virginia, and your taste buds scream for hot, melt-in-your-mouth donuts, stop into Hot Diggity Donuts, on Hull Street Road.  Yes, I cheated on my Keto journey, and it was such a rewarding experience.  I mean come on, they make their hot donuts on demand. No conveyor belt. No waiting for specific times for the next batch. They drop them when you order. Yum!

The atmosphere is warm, welcoming, and beautifully retro.  From start to finish, everything was amazing.  If you don’t want coffee and donuts, no problem, they have a menu that steps outside of the box.  They serve sandwiches and cocktails, and they even have a few local brewery selections.  Most days, they are open later than your average donut shop, but I would expect nothing else from this innovative place.  Check out the link below.  Until next time.

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’

Posted in Just a Thought

Strength and Focus

Hello friends,

Have you ever embarked on a mission/goal, full of excitement and joy?  Well, it’s definitely true that when you are about to accomplish something amazing, the universe, God/Goddess, science, or anything else you could think of, comes in and throws a monkey wrench in your path.  Sometimes, it may even seem to be an entire tool shed, full of tools, dumped in the middle of what would otherwise feel like a breakthrough.  As a person that has a little experience with a few obstacles and trip hazards, I have gone from stomping my feet like a toddler to staring at the obstacle to see who would break first.  My mom always says, I seem to love “pushing the rock uphill,” and I admit I can be a little stubborn at times.  However, the challenges have made me stronger and, hopefully, a little smarter. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, I have learned effective ways to remove the egg and pie from my face.    Turn that egg and pie into a pore minimizing face mask. I learned that complaining doesn’t help.  Oh, Fenty make-up is fabulous for hiding a couple of scrapes and blemishes (love this stuff). I realize some of the obstacles are self-made, and most of the people you complain to are wiping off their own pie.  I learned to navigate the crud and muck that slows my stride, and I gather a few of the tools for my tool belt.  Yep, some of those tools that would have created a perfect face plant five years ago come in handy for fixing things here and there.  Today, I am not looking for a bell to ring to get me out of here (tomorrow may be different).  I am a visionary phoenix; taking the physical and metaphoric pain and fueling a passion. 

The phoenix rises out of the fire with the resolve of cold steel, not breaking or bending, but more beautiful and majestic after every re-creation.  I encourage you my friends, to laugh, be grateful, and consider different ways to use your obstacles to your advantage.  Place some of those tools in your tool belt.  They will prove useful for the loose screws you encounter along your journey.  Just never give up.

Photo by Albin Berlin on Pexels.com

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’