Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This Feeling...

Hello Luvs,

As I lay here there is a certain sense of clam that I am feeling. There is a poem just aching to get out. Shall we see what little wonder is in this mind? Yeah! Why not....

This Feeling....

As I lay here there is a clearer sense of me
Not the impression others have claimed to be
Courtesy of QuoteGram....
More calm and serene than I've been in a while
Trying to adjust to someone else's style
Because that is not true for me
With all the madness and trials I've seen
Thrown adrift searching for land
Or simply another's outstretched hand



As I lay her I am not
Simply a Black Woman
Simply a Mother
Simply a Daughter
Simply a Teacher
Simply a Storyteller
Simply a Musician
Simply a Business Owner
Simply an Artist
Simply a Poet

What I am is a daydreamer  (well sometimes!) realist
One who aims to be all those things
A student with an open mind
Who feels that there are still...so many lessons to learn
Toward growth, empathy, compassion, inclusivity
And clearness of tangled and crocked mind
I am THIS FEELING/THIS MOMENT/THIS REALITY
Struggling to change it for the better
Becuase there is no other option


Til next time,

Kat

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Black Space Filled with Light...

Hello Luvs,
A SPace og LigHT...


Happy Saturday! For me, this week went by like lightning traveling across a cloud filled sky. Even so, I have so many memories of a week that shifted in many things for me. There is something to be said about stepping out from your comfort zone and taking a step toward the new, unexpected, and unmapped.


Things have changed regarding our plans. With both kiddos agreeing to be home schooled. Feeling the traditional route is a hinderance is where we are. Will it change our plans for returning for another year after our summer in Canada? Maybe... Will our friends and family see us more because we are completely mobile? Maybe.... Will I take the step to complete my current projects? Most Likely! One of the pluses about being a transient and nomadic family will be that I can expose more people to my books and album. The latter is taking on shape as we speak.

That brings me to the reason/subject of today's blog. As I mentioned before...stepping outside your zone can be a really good thing. I have found that I can be can sit next to someone and express my passions with the best of them. However, getting to that spot can prove to be a challenge for me. Even though I know that I have multiple talents to offer the world I still have issue taking that first step. Earlier this week I did just that.
Presence Above...

Tarish 'Jeghetto Maestro!' Pipkins invited me to join him and some other folks including Pierce Freelon at Black Space. It is located under the Post Office on Franklin Street (Teen Center home of BeatMakingLab), and it is a place where magic happens. Magic in the sense that likeminded people finding a place to talk and grow while relying on their belief that the Black Community needs to bond together in Unity. Now, when I say that it is not saying it is not an inclusive space. Hopefully I am conveying this correctly when saying that is is an Afrofuturistic Community Space. All who wish to share in the Village Mentality are welcome to pop a squat and engage in lively discussions, jam sessions, or themed nights. There are so many things that tear apart the web of Human Connection and taking steps toward weaving it back to a salvageable state is necessary.
No need to look up
He knows it is there.

Before I write about the goodness that went down I should walk you through my first few minutes there. At first I could not find out how to get in. Might sound silly, but the doors that looked like they led there were locked. I arrived after 7 p.m. which was the starting time (which I should not have taken literally with most of us being artists). Talking to myself saying, "Kat, did yuu have it right? You know that you are in the right place. Wait...maybe the entrance is on the other side." As a made my third circle around the building and was about to give up I saw Pierce enter with a few other Gentlemen and followed just behind. My entrance might have been a tad bit awkward (ok, really awkward!). Stilted 'Hellos' and what's ups followed. It was not as if they were saying I was unwelcome...they seemed to be discussing something, and I came in during some goodbyes and continuation of the conversation after. I have had that happen on my end. I know how odd it can seem even though that was not what I was trying to put out there.

So, that was the start. After things quickly changed. I started to notice all the Art Goodness that was all around me. There were many puppets designed by Tarish. A gorgeous mural adorned a wall, and multiple art pieces by a talented artist named Damita Hicks were displayed. Add to that all the music equipment, miniature piano, and several places to sit comfortably you realize that this is a place to let your guard down and raise your spirit up. It is a venue in which it's name might lead you to the opposite of what it stands for. It is a place in which the funnel of Humanity can steady itself and blare out into the world.

I met a mature woman whom Pierce refers affectionately as 'Grandma'. I am not sure if she is his matriarch or is held in that regard. Either way, from the short conversation and the wonderful hugs she gave everyone (even me after the phrase 'Alright, get up and give me some.') you see just how high their regard is for her.


Another of her pieces.
One of Damita's pieces.
I had a wonderful conversation with Damita about what I am up to and what she is working on. We are definitely both focused on helping youth minds bloom with exposure to art in it's many forms to children who will not be exposed to them normally. It was reaffirming that there are other people who feel the way I do. She is a sweetheart whose voice matches her lovlieness. The part of our conversation where we discussed home schooling was a needed one. She started homeschooling her daughter in middle school and she graduated with her G.E.D. at sixteen and will be a Junior at UNC in the fall. Talk about a meant to be meeting! Oh, and we might also try to see if we can work together sometime in regard to her program. Like I said.....Light!
To him it was all a blur....
Enough said?


This handsome chap
sits on a shelf.

Elephant Down!
With the use of recycled materials
Tarish does amazing things!!!

After a bit Tarish arrived and I took many more photos. Every time I turned around I noticed another puppet or art piece that I admired. I was in a place surrounded by talented passionate people, and I was overwhelmed with the feeling of comfort and community. We had a long conversation about eating bugs, the length of skirts (courtesy of something said by Erykah Badu), and politics including the corruption we are seeing happen. The latter reinforcing the fact that our country has not come as far as many have known for a while (others more so than me and my naive mind) and that so called Democrats can be just as underhanded as the Republican Party. I was so pleased to find that my opinion was not shot down and discounted but instead listened to and given room to expand on my perspective. It is not often when that happens. Many times others go the 'my way is the highway' route. It got lively but not in a bad way.
No! I would not be ok with a spider
that big!

As it reached the hour of everyone heading home I had only one regret....no jamming. A couple of people messed around with samples and the keyboard but not much more. Well, that gives me a reason to return. When I do...I will write about it. Until then, please enjoy some of the pictures I took (with their permission of course).


Til next time,

Kat
This cutie sits in the corner next
to a collection of books by Black Authors
and/or about the Black Experience
Arachnid meet sneakers....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Ideal Sunday!

Hello Luvs,

We are now capping off the weekend, and mine flew by! Did it feel that way to you? Trying to live in the moment does help some. Never taking anything for granted helps us appreciate life and the very simplest of activities. Pretty sure I missed out on a lot of wonderful experiences when I did not have this philosophy. Noticing the flowers when they bloom then wither or the layers of green outside your front door can never be overlooked. These are the heart happy moments when your soul receives a recharge.

Needed to take a moment to analyze why I lost it a couple of days ago. Part of it was witnessing how much the negativity being sent our way was affecting the Hubster. I went into a protective mode, and I was not ok with how it made him feel. Have you ever had a time when you witnessed cruelty and it affected you physically? That is what it did to me. 

Being a work in progess which will continue throughout my life I am going to have times where I slip. I should not let such things get under my skin...but I did. My warrior heart will do just that...go into battle mode. That has always been part of my personality. Whether it is family, friend, child, or mature woman needing assistance but being ignored. I want to help, comfort, and advocate for them. If I am willing to stand up for someone outside my bubble then you can only imagine what happens when it is a loved one. I believe that representing or advocating for others in our village (Human Beings) is our responsibility to do whenever we can. I know that I cannot be everywhere all at once. That is why this philosophy needs to spread. There are others who feel this way...let's grow this shared consciousness!

The entrance into the Center.
First thing said? Whoa!
So, let me tell you about our weekend. Yesterday we went to the Raleigh Convention Center for the Oak City Comic Con. We left for it after lunchtime, and I think it was a good decision. I tried to follow the Hubster's lead regarding parking. Since he had to work I did the driving. When we got within two blocks parking was craaazzzzy! There were parking structures and lots but they were expensive. I looked for spots for about 10 minutes. When I was about to give up (and after having a family with youngsters cross right in front of us after our light had turned green-SCARY!) I decided to drive back down toward another parking deck. As I drive slowly toward the block just before the Center a person pulled out of the perfect spot. SCORE! To top if off, the person if front of us had a Bernie sticker, and a car charging station was just before that. Luv it that I am beginning to see more and more of these stations around. We hope that our next vehicle after the Prius will be an electric car.

When we went into the buiding we were greeted by a line that was about 100 people long. It was the line to buy tickets. Luckily Baby Girl suggested that we buy the tickets at our favorite conic book store (Ultimate Comics). We went straight in...another score. Wow! the new venue was amazing. They held it at a hotel last year, and it was a little rough. The Convention Center was cool. For some reason I was not taking pictures and realized it only after we were back on the elevator to leave. To be blunt...large crowds are not my bag. Especially when adults lose it and step in front of kiddos (not necessarily mine) and basically block them. As we learn what situations do not work for us we come to the conclusion that some are not worth it.... I was there for the kiddos, and they saw a lot of cool costumes and merch. The funny thing about it was that after a short bit Baby Boy who was hugging my arm (he actually started doing this more often...makes me so happy!) and said, "I am not too comfortable here. Can we go soon?" He is so much like me! We did not stay too long, but enjoyed people watching while we were there. I did get a shot of when we arrived and we looked down at the Convention area below...and yes, that is Baby Boy's fro.
When you walk out the front
door and look up.
The view from my favorite chair.
Luv drinking my morning coffee here.

Today was all about family...not that yesterday was not. However, the Hubster was with us too. We decided that we would walk up to campus. It is about a 1.5 miles to the Auckland Museum and we started there. Of course I had my handy yellow parasol with me, and the rest of the family had their new crocs on. I broke the riues and wore my Rider walking shoes. It was a beautiful walk. Lots of flowers, birds, and squirrels to keep us oohing and ahhing all along the way. There were some pictures I took that caught my eye at the Museum. One was of a refugee camp in Nigeria. With the dire conditions documented in the picture I could not believe what was shown in the distance. There were people smiling! In those circumstances they still had community and joy. It struck a chord in my heart and pulled it like a panther tearing apart his prey. The other is of three nude statues with four helicopters overheard. The juxtoposition is amazing. Caught a science show at Morehead Planetarium and walked home by way of the Kenan Stadium.
Look up Ladies!
Baby Girl's pic on the way.

What a day....one of the best we have had recently. Probably about five miles walked. I could not have asked for more.

Thanks for reading...

Til next time,

Heart stirring!
Kat

Friday, April 15, 2016

Summer plans locked in...and taking on my meandering blog of the day!

Hello Luvs,
My view when meditating...

Well, I had my first class at a new school, and it was AMAZING! I love inspiring young minds to go for it in regard to embracing music. I cannot wait to see them again next week!!!!
                                                                                     
Before I fill you in about our next Airbnb destination I wanted to write about something that is really bugging me. Using this blog as a vehicle in which express frustrations, joys, adventures, poems, and fashion choices (just to name a few) has become rewarding for my soul. It is something I encourage more to do. Writing a published blog is not for everyone, however writing down your feelings even in a notebook can be both healing and liberating.

The bright orange leaves
that seem to reach the sky!
Princess Goldie will miss these pillows!

That being said, the Hubster received a communication from a relative who stated that he read 'my meandering blog that was cryptic about our next step, and tht this might be our next step'. Then he went on to question our decision. Ok, what does that mean? AND....where does he get off even sending something so negative? He doesn't have it like that! He is not a confidant or person that has ANY say so in our decisions. That has been very clear for a long time.  

I have not been shy about our plans, because I am beyond excited to tackle a lifestyle that the Hubster and I feel will be beneficial for our family. To make a statment about a blog that no one has obligated him or her to read is dumbfounding. I enjoy knowing that others might relate to and/or giggle when reading the blog. Simple put....if someone does not appreciate what I am offering in regard to content they DO NOT have to read it. I have followed then unfollowed blogs when I lost interest or thought a certain part was not my bag. It's called free will. Add to that the fact that family is supposed to wish you well and support you when you are trying to grow and have a positive affect on the world around you. To find that something I very proud of is being picked apart reaches a new low. I guesss I should be happy to know that they have helped me reach well over 12,000 hits. Yet somehow it is both creepy and purposeful on their end. Going out of your way to be unkind takes more effort. Yeah, I could be making a mountain out of a mohill, but if you knew the relationship (or lack of) you would reach the same conclusion....that it fits right into their previous behaviour.
The tall trees that surrounded us.

Our move to where we reside currently was/is all about the kids. Have we second guessed that decision...yes. Have we thought that the decision has sometimes led to unhealthy negativity...once again, yes. That is why we oftentimes subscribe to Eckhart Tolle's mindset. My life has less negative aspects than it did in the past. I can no longer hold it in and that is a good thing. I have to get it out, realize what it is, then meditate on it...hopefully realizing that these actions say more about them than it does us. You can still hold someone in a certain regard without choosing to be around them. Friend or family that offer up negative interactions and passive aggressive shots toward me and my family have no place in what we are trying to accomplish. This is part of my growth as a person. I am sure that a lot of you know of which I speak because you have experienced something similar. Knowing when something is not healthy and making a choice to go the other way. To go in a direction that allows our family to escape situations that do not benefit you, but instead guides you toward a more positive existence.
Heavenly bright hues abound...!

Ok, enough about that! Suppose I had more to say than I thought...Whew! 

I am VERY EXCITED to let you know that for two months we will be staying in a mountain home close a river in Quebec, Canada (north of Quebec City). We will have easy access to a lake, horseback riding (which Baby Girl loves), and tons of hiking. There will be days trips for sure! Paying less in rent and having less expenses is even better! Experiencing a sabbatical that gives us an outdoorsy invigorating experience rings sublime. I will share more details in the near future. And of course I will blog about it all. It will be a blast, and we are all so excited. I would love to hear from any of you who are familiar with the area and have recommendations. Nothing like finding out about local places that are off the beaten path and need visiting. Probably should know a little more French too. Anyone have recommendations of key phrases/sentences I should know so I'm not insulting anyone....?

As always, I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this....

Til next time,

Kat

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Joyful Music Moments......!

Hello Luvs,

Courtesy of
thedynamicturnaround.com
For a few weeks I have tried to take a stab at regularity of content. Whether it was what has come and gone for me as a lover of fashion to attempts that now leave me guessing what I was thinking. It did not last long. Though I really enjoy sharing some of my styling phases, I have found setting it for a particular day just doesn't work for me in order to stay authentic. I will still share these things when they hit me. 

Writing this blog is theraputic for me, and my hope is that others might find something in it they identify with. Knowing someone else is going through something similar to you helps. It is a way to know that you are not along. With that being said, please reach out if and/or when you need to. You can shoot me a comment below with your contact information.
quotesgram...

So, today I wanted to write about two experiences I have had in the last couple of days that both relate to music. They both reinforce my belief in the healing power of music along with the way it can bring a specific energy to even the youngest among us.

This is sooo true!
One of the schools I teach at on Wednesdays has a special visitor every week I am there. The founder of the church (rather her caregiver) reached out to see if she could check out a class. She is  very mature in age and has some signs which show it. At the very first class she came to she was smiling and laughing, She also participated in some of the activities while seated at the edge. Afterward I was told by her caregiver that this is the first time...in a long time...when they have seen her be so animated and joyful. Joyful is a big mark to reach. It is a heart happy word that is contagious. You have to really fight it if someone you know is feeling joyful and not be affected. When she came again she stayed for two classes. She was singing along and participating in everything (once again in her chair). I tear up as I write this because I am remembering just how happy, excited, and radiant she was. Usaully when I think of being able to touch the spirit of a mature person it is music that is specific to a certain decade(s). She was being affected by our in the moment original compositions. If the mood is right there tends to be quite a bit of it....all depending on the energy of the class. At her visit yesterday she was waiting at the door for me to come in. She stayed again for two classes, and stood while doing our parachute activity! Music is medicine and it soothes many ailments. Seeing this on a regalar basis solidifies that for me. I am not the only who knows this. We have to make sure that it is embraced and it's wonders are shared with all who will listen.

This is especially true for me!
Today was another one of those days when two hours seems like ten minutes and you leave a place with a permagrin. Walking into a school in which I teach one day a month and seeing just how excited and attentive the children are solidifies the fact that I have one of the best jobs in the world. One class in particular sings a song that I wrote for Mo Willems 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!'. I initially sang it while playing bongos, and the rhythm is fairly basic. We start with pigeon and switch to other animals like elephants, giraffes, tigers, hippos, chickens, and to my amazement they have also been singing pickles (do not even try to figure that out..the cuteness abounds!). This song is something that has stuck with them since my very first visit. Keep in mind that I have only had this client for about six months, and I visit each group of 4 classes every other month. To have them embrace it so thoroughly once again tells me....I have the best job in the world! One of their teachers said they sing it when getting in line for activites, are in the carpool line, and randomly during their day just to name a few occasions. 
Do you have a song that hits you?

                 
To know that ANYTHING can be put to song and ingrained without any type of pressure but in a freee flowing organic way is a trip. This brings home the fact that music can help us deal with an array of issues we experience in life. For those who like to vent and share thoughts in writing it can be even more theraputic. Wow! The miracle that is the ability we were all born with (and should be nurtured in a natural way) is what I am meant to share with the world. Would love it if you came into mine and shared your joyful, healing, and life changing moments where music was your solace.


Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You Remind Me....

Hello Luvs,

I hope that your week has started out well. Rainy here but that is always something that is easy to contend with. It is unfortunate that a lot of people equate it with snow and drive with that mindset. Utilizing many meditative breaths helped tremendously.
Pine and yellow-throated Warbler

So, I started to work on my thoughts for today on Facebook. Something really crazy happened when I went to copy it to paste on here....it ALL WENT AWAY! Can you feel my pain and see my sad face...right brow lowered and bottom lip stuck out. I am a big fan of writing/expressing what you are feeling in the moment. It is kind of like channeling your soul's questions/doubts/heights/collapsing/rebirth. I let it go and live with what I needed to express. I was quite proud of it, but now I accept it was something that only I needed to hear and realize. 

Now comes the time when I will try again...but straight to the site. I learned that it is much better to use something that auto-saves constantly and undos errors.

The themes or object that I am drawing from are the birds that I hear while walking Goldie in the am.




You Remind Me

You remind me of the things I take for granted
The thumps and pangs of my heart 
Reassuring me that I am
Alive....
There are so many doubts and pleasures
Placed right in front of me thus
Received in ignorance at any given
Time....
That rushes by like the river
Or the out of control killing machines and
The destructive tornado we call
Life....
Hello There Woodpecker!
Thrown around like opinions
That change direction and threaten
All who remain in their path left
Hopeless....
In those very moments are the quiet thumps 
Then sweet whistles I can barely hear 
In the distance calling out for
Peace....
Of the soul, mind, and body
They see are clearly weather worn
Swearing to me an offer of
Relief...
Still, yet still, I am hesitant
I have witnessed this charm turned vicious
So much can change leaving behind no
Evidence....
But I will take this last act of kindness and sound
The cold wind blowing through my hair
A melodic song gently reminding me to simply and earnestly be
Around....

Til next time,

Kat

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Update on Nomadic Lifestyle

Hello Luvs,

Our lovely airbnb cottage...
Hope all is well. I thought that I would update you regarding where we stand in our current airbnb and our next move. Well, still at our two bedroom cottage. The size does seem to fit us well STILL. The location is better than we initially thought and we take advantage of Merritt's down the road. We returned to blooming bushes and trees. Driving through the neighborhood is lilac heaven...with the smell bringing an instant smile to our faces.

That does point out that the amount of space needed is subjective. Having a large house is more maintenance (which I am really appreciating cleaning only one bathroom), not conducive for actually seeing your family, and worse for the environment. Smaller spaces are a movement right now, and it is easy to see why. If you are concerned about the environment yet rarely see your children once they come home....going straight to their room a smaller space might be just the ticket.


Right now we are attacking our plans from two sides. We have been looking for an airbnb close to Quebec City. The idea of visiting is exciting for the whole family. There have been quite a bit that are a little ways away and several that are in Old Quebec. Finding the right one will be easier (I believe) because we have even more experience with how to pick out a good space. If you live in the area and have any recommendations I would appreciate it.

Who couldn't get used to this view?
So, do we still plan to home school? We are leaning toward it for our son. We feel strongly that he will benefit from a non-traditional school approach. Sending him to a school that we have to pay for is not an option. Baby Girl wants to finish out middle school at the same school. Barring any change in stance on her end we will be back in the fall to enable her to attend.

Now about living arrangements....we might have a line on funds to buy an drivable RV. That is our best case scenario that we will try to reach. If it happens before the school year ends we will not do an airbnb but instead use that. If it happens later then we will return and find a good spot to house it. We will live there through the school year. Finding out where that will be is a task upon itself. I will let you know how that is goes.
Birthday bliss...

It is funny how many "Are you crazzzzzy?" comments I still get. Nowadays people should be able to voice support for anothers choice even if it is not what they would choose for themselves. So you prefer to own your own home...good. You would never see yourself moving until your children graduate from high school....once again good for you. You are a person who needs to be close in proximity to your family....one more time...good for you. I am sure that you see where I am going. Finding your balance and standard for living is your priority just as finding a place for our children to thrive is ours. What works for one person more than likely is not what works for another.
We came home to beautiful blooms.

I have been thinking of starting to periscope again. If you would like to be able to converse with me think about following me @katsmeoww11. I would love the chance to have in the moment conversations that allow you to ask me specific things I have not covered in the blog.

Til next time,

Kat

P.S. If you would like to read about our airbnb trip to the beach check out these blogs.

http://katsmeoww11.blogspot.com/2016/03/why-materialism-bums-me-out.html

http://katsmeoww11.blogspot.com/2016/03/my-do-i-admire-you.html

http://katsmeoww11.blogspot.com/2016/03/what-wednesdays_30.html

http://katsmeoww11.blogspot.com/2016/04/when-i-leave.html

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Looking Up...

Hello Luvs,

Happy Thursday! I know I missed a What the? Wednesday post. I will make it up next week with two different pics from two different times. It will give you an idea of just how fast my fashion shifts. Never is it persuaded by fads. Unless I am the one starting it! HINT! HINT!

Until then I hope that my musings tide you over. This piece coming at you is inspired by drive and how it made me feel.


Looking Up
This bird can sing!-courtesy of
Vector Illustration

As I rushed around I ached with the feeling
That I was missing something...
The wind caused the leaves to sway
Window open....my mohawk sprayed
Around my face, touching my cheeks
And poking my eyes
Still I did not mind
The sun I looked away from
Memories of those moments of time
When I had none
The radio blaring Billy Idol
Memories flood my mind
Because I remember the time
When I had none
For then my mind no longer wandered
I could feel the steering wheel
Kool Kats Swayin'
Under my finders
I could feel where my body connected
With the seat...then my feet
No longer aching from the hours
When I had none
I felt the rush change to slo-motion
I see the car to my left
The person staring at me
Then I realized that I was caught in a moment
When my cares and my worries
Gave way to the song
A song that reminded
That I am no longer in a time
When I had none....

Til next time,

Kat

Saturday, April 2, 2016

When I Leave....

Hello Luvs,

Happy Saturday! I hope that your week has gone well. Have not really blogged for a few days, and thought that I would do one of my poems that happens in the moment. It starts off with a theme of leaving the oasis my family and I have experienced this past week. I have treasured this time and it has allowed a reprieve from all the things that life has thrown at us. Utilizing Airbnb is a way to take on the chores (meals) you would like to do and not when you want to just relax (meaning NO dishes! hehe). Let's see how it goes....ENJOY!


When I Leave

The ball of thoughts gently
finding their way out

When I leave the wind follows
Gently guiding me toward the destination
That binds me
To the now, when I am needed
Toward the journey I am fighting
What happended to the doubt
The ocean air has simply
Washed it out
Cleaned out my wounds
And lessoned the frown lines
Brought about by worries
Try to clear from my mind
You can bet that there are temptations
                                  I will find 
That reoccur in the whirlwind of my mind
Trying to become 
Who I am meant to be
This time has reminded me
No matter what way you look
we all need to grow BEFORE life changes!
I am what I need
I change and bleed
From egdes and openings
To live for the moment
When all is not what it seems
As my dreams change my
worries wash away...
When I thought it was only a dream
So...as I leave, simply wave to me
Wish me well and blow me
Toward a blissful state of being










Til next time,

Kat