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My deepest condolences to family and friends.

2 days, 22 hours ago on Sad News: Former BB&W ‘Hottie’ Succumbs to Cancer at 41

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This looks so luscious and delicious.  I'll put it in my recipe box for future use!


3 days, 18 hours ago on Chef Bob: Alaskan Snow Crab Pasta Primavera

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Just saw this in my email and thought I'd pass it along:  http://www.weedemandreap.com/natural-garden-pest-control/

3 days, 18 hours ago on Snow Be Damned!! Container Gardening 101

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@Brenda55 Yes, I do have the book and also had the site bookmarked.

3 days, 18 hours ago on Snow Be Damned!! Container Gardening 101

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@Ara Jazz Yes, they are attached to their hair.  But, as we know, the military doesn't care about our personal issues.  Men with long hair are probably attached to their hair too but when they get in, it's buzzed off.  I know my solution is a bit harsh (and even the military isn't ready for it) but if military organizations say we have to be uniform, that's one solution.  No more dealing with hair then and I can guarantee that it won't be a problem in combat situations.  

4 days, 13 hours ago on Has The Army Declared War On Black Women’s Hair?

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Great article with fabulous resources.  Container gardening is how I got started.  Martha Stewart had a show on it so I bought some terra cotta pots, Don make me some stands on wheels so I could wheel them around on the deck or put them in the garage, in case we had a freeze and I was off.  Up 'til then, I had a non-green thumb and killed every plant I touched.  I grew herbs from seed and they were magnificent!  Even my mother couldn't believe it because she knew my rep.  At one point, I had 15 terra cotta pots full of lettuce, herbs, radishes, carrots, scallions and even garlic (which I started in the fall and it was ready in the spring)!  The pots made them easy to cover with nylon netting to keep out bugs since I wanted to keep my stuff as organic as possible.  This year, I'm trying square foot gardening.  We'll see how it goes.  I took a class with a well-known locavore and she made it look so easy.

4 days, 22 hours ago on Snow Be Damned!! Container Gardening 101

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It's not necessarily racial but I think people are missing the point here.  Yes, it is the military but they have to be a bit more than one-dimensional when it comes to hair.  Those with kinky hair (this includes WP too) don't have hair that grows down.  It grows out.  Therefore, hair rules should address that.  I wrote my opinion as a comment at USA Today: 


"I served 22 years in the US Navy and am retired. I am also a Black woman. I understood, when I raised my right hand, that I was defending the Constitution of the United States but I was losing some rights as well. No worries. I knew what I was getting into. At the same time, I have to say that the military has been uninformed about Black women's/kinky hair. They assign rules and regs based on the straight hair of most Caucasian women as if they don't understand that kinky hair has and needs a different protocol. I say this. As long as the hairdo is 1) Safe; 2) Can fit under any head gear; 3) is not decorative (e.g. no beads or barettes) and 4) Can be easily taken care of on the battlefield, it should be fine. And don't get it twisted. Some military members are very old-fashioned and still like to see hair on a woman.

How do I know this? I got tired of relaxing my hair to fit into the standards set for Caucasian women (relaxing hair means using caustic chemicals that routinely burned my scalp; it also changed the molecular structure of my hair so that it became weak and eventually broke off, leaving my hair like straw. Not healthy at all and definitely not a good look, in uniform!). I shaved it down to peach fuzz that was professionally trimmed. There was nothing in the Navy Uniform regs that said I couldn't do this. I was also in a job where I was doing extensive travel, requiring me to to go aboard ships for long periods at a time; figure the odds I was going to find a beautician to do my hair. It was the best thing possible for me to do. I was, sometimes, in situations where there was no way to wash my hair for weeks at a time.  My hair, or lack thereof, became the conversation of the day between higher-ranking officers (I was a Commander) and they sent the most feminine female Captain to chide me. She saw my hair and said, "Very practical." because it was and she realized it was. I carried a copy of the Navy Uniform regs on my person at all times just to ensure I could defend my choice of hairstyle. Several other Black women on the carrier did the same thing. As far as I was concerned, it matched the criteria I set above.

As drastic as this may have been, it worked. I understand the military has set rules; I followed them for half my lifetime. At the same time, though, it's a mark of leadership to not be so one-dimensional. Am I saying they should let Black women do whatever they want? No. I'm saying that there's room for doable rules so that whatever hairstyle they have is within the parameters of safe, easy, and neat. Back when I first got in, the Navy said women had to wear "flesh toned" stockings with skirts. During an inspection, I was gigged because my stockings matched my flesh tone. The inspecting officer said I should have worn the "flesh tone" of a Caucasian woman. I fought that and won. Navy uniform regulations were amended to say that women should wear stockings to match *their* flesh tone. It can be done and for the good of the military service, order and discipline, I think this issue needs more work. I'm available to help out!"

Now, maybe the Army felt it had to make these changes because some women were out-of-hand and pushing the envelope on wearing hair.  It happens.  Had I been the Secretary of the Army, I would have gathered together a diverse panel of enlisted and officers, male and female, to determine what the proper solution needed to be and would have included those, scientifically knowledgeable, about all kinds of hair .  We wear the uniform and know what works and what doesn't.  The point is that one shouldn't have to use noxious chemicals on their hair, slather it with Dippity-Do or otherwise to make it fit.  IMO, those solutions are impractical and dangerous (no Dippity-Do or other hair unguents are allowed in engine rooms on ships).   If I had my way, in order to be uniform, women would have to cut their hair very short (crew cut, shave it, Lupita it, whatever).  No weaves.  No wigs.  No color that had to be kept up to look good (dyed blonde hair with a skunk stripe is not a good, military look!).  In short, everyone would have to wear a hairdo that could be cared for by what was available, namely, a barber.  That would truly be the definition of uniform, easy to deal with in a combat situation and no worries about lice or other nasties.  Everyone would be the same.  Just my two cents as a person who spent all but ten years of her life, in the military.


5 days, 19 hours ago on Has The Army Declared War On Black Women’s Hair?

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@Brenda55 LOL, that's true but better than having to do it free of charge or, worse still, paying for it!

3 weeks, 4 days ago on I Love Yoga, But I’ll Keep My Clothes On, Thankyouverymuch!

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@Law Wanxi Good to know but you have to agree that if I choose to see lots of genitalia, up close and personal, I'd rather get paid for it, whatever the salary, than have it shoved in my face with no compensation whatsoever. :-) 

3 weeks, 4 days ago on I Love Yoga, But I’ll Keep My Clothes On, Thankyouverymuch!

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@Christelyn Yes.  Way TMI.  If I'd wanted to see vajayjays and wieners, I'd have been a gynecologist or urologist, respectively.  Then I could get paid for it, at least!

3 weeks, 4 days ago on I Love Yoga, But I’ll Keep My Clothes On, Thankyouverymuch!

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You know, I've done naked hot springs in California, naked beaches in the South of France, bathed naked in both South Korea and Japan and done a co-ed sauna in Germany.  There is no way I would want to do naked yoga.  I take a yoga class and showed this to my instructor.  She said there's no way she'd want to teach it.  Doing Downward Dog with booties in my face...  just no.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on I Love Yoga, But I’ll Keep My Clothes On, Thankyouverymuch!

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@LuvlikehoneySharonda I'd like to think that not all men (or women) are cowards.  There are so many people who just don't want to "get involved".  Not sure how they live but I couldn't look at myself in the mirror if I stood by and let something happen to someone.  I have interfered, twice, in particular situations, and it was without thinking.  I saw a big man slap his tiny, heavily pregnant wife so hard, she fell to the ground.  I was in front of him and screaming before I knew it.  Thankfully, it was on a military base so I had support immediately.  I went to the dark side that day, let me tell you.  But the sound of his meaty fist hitting her face... I can still hear it and it brought up a rage in me so fierce, I don't doubt that if I had a weapon on me, I would have used it.  My husband is the same way so now we're a team.  At the end of the day, I have to look at myself and know I have done right.  Just the way it is, for me.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Stand Up Sister Protects a Stranger and Her Child

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So, let me see if I can get this straight.  A woman protected the woman with the baby, while the men sat and did nothing.  Later, when the DBR BM attacked the SEPTA police officer, the officer received help from (plural) riders.  Really?  I can't, I just can't.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Stand Up Sister Protects a Stranger and Her Child

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@Swirlgirl28 I would never judge you.  In fact, I think it's a brave thing to say this and realize that this is an issue you want to fix in yourself.  IMO, it shows how self-actualized you are becoming because you are able to be truly introspective about yourself and what you want to change for the betterment of you.  All of us are a work-in-progress, even me, at age 55.  You're young yet and have the time to be the best woman you want to be for yourself.  Frankly, I salute you and wish you well.  BTW, counseling is a very tough job.  My mom did that and had to leave it, eventually.  She worked with psychotic patients so the burnout was high.

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Recognize Yourself? Five Signs You Are An Angry Black Woman

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@Brenda55 Yes, at the top of my list for joining a gym is proximity.  I'm lucky that the rec center is so close to me.  There are other gyms near me as well (Olympic, The Women's Club, Gold's) but the rec center is infinitely cheaper and since my taxes paid for it, I may as well use it.  Also, the other gyms don't have a pool so that's an added bonus.  I used to drive ten miles to the YMCA in Reston.  They have a pool too and a fantastic gym.  Only problem is, in bad weather, I could talk myself out of going or come up with some other excuse as to why I didn't want to drive there.  I only went because Don's job offset part of it so it was cheap too.  I tried it for a year but the lack of proximity wasn't working.  Cub Run opens at 5 AM and since I'm up, I can be there in 5 minutes, get my workout in and be done before the gotta-get-a-workout-in-before-work crowd comes in.  No excuses!

4 weeks, 1 day ago on A True WTF Moment…When a Gym Manager Tells a Black Woman She’s Too Fit.

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@Brenda55 No, no bullet dodging.  I never complain about our taxes because we really do get what we pay for.  We live in very safe neighborhoods where the cops will respond within two minutes (had to test that with some effed up neighbors) and our rec centers look like they're out in the country.  The one I showed is next to a stream and has woods so they teach woodland basics and dog obedience too!  It's a very serene place to work out.

4 weeks, 1 day ago on A True WTF Moment…When a Gym Manager Tells a Black Woman She’s Too Fit.

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@Browncow Yes, it's King of Kings.  It is great!  How long have you lived in Greenbriar?

4 weeks, 1 day ago on A True WTF Moment…When a Gym Manager Tells a Black Woman She’s Too Fit.

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@Browncow OMG!  I could walk to where you live.  I live in Brookfield!!!  My church is in Greenbriar and I have several friends who live there! In fact, my bestie lives there and I ride my bike to her house quite often.  What a small world!!!  

1 month ago on A True WTF Moment…When a Gym Manager Tells a Black Woman She’s Too Fit.

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@Browncow I live near Westfields!  I highly recommend Cub Run when you get the green light.  As a FFX County resident, we can go to any of the rec centers.  I've been to Oakmarr too and it's very nice, particularly now that they've renovated it.  I've taken belly dancing classes, yoga and a class called "Gut Buster".  Their classes are wonderful and the swimming pool at Cub Run is fabulous.  You have to see it to believe it.  I think they even teach infant swim there so if you're thinking about that with your little one, check it out!  If you want, you can contact me, offline at crimsonavenger@me.com

1 month ago on A True WTF Moment…When a Gym Manager Tells a Black Woman She’s Too Fit.

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One thing I've noticed, about this story, is no one mentions how well they explained their "no judgment" policy to her when she was signing up for membership.  I'm getting the feeling they just said "We're a no-judgment gym." and that's it.  They, apparently, didn't go into detail about the dress code.  If that is the case, then Planet Fitness is to blame.  Can't be excited about signing up members and not tell them the rules.  Of course, now we all know.


Thankfully, in Fairfax County where I live, we have rec centers that have awesome gyms/pools/indoor tracks.  As a resident of the county, I get to use these gyms for a reasonable sum and I don't get a hard sell to buy into a membership.  The closest one to me is 3 miles from my house, so, on great days, I ride my bicycle there.  They don't care how one dresses or looks and, for the most part, people mind their own business unless someone is doing something that may hurt them.  At least, no one has ever approached me.  My workouts have been peaceful.  I must say we are spoiled, in Fairfax County but our heavy taxes pay for what we get.  Here's the gym where I work out: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/cubrun/

1 month ago on A True WTF Moment…When a Gym Manager Tells a Black Woman She’s Too Fit.

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