Tag Archives: culture

Fab Female Friday: Marie Laveau

220px-MarieLaveau_(Frank_Schneider)Mystery, mayhem, and magic surrounds this fab female.

Born in Haiti in 1794, this beautiful and multi-talented woman took New Orleans by storm. Voodoo storm! Other accounts claim  she was born in the French Quarter to a white farmer and African American woman.

Marie went from hairdresser and cook to voodoo queen. Talk about diversification!

Violent uprisings in Haiti prompted the smart gal to seek a safer home. She married another Haitian refugee and had 15–that’s right–15 children. Other accounts say her husband died ( mysteriously,of course), and that those 15 kiddies were Christopher Glapion’s, a man she lived with for many years.

No stay-at-home mom, Marie got a job at the city jail where she learned to be an excellent listener. Secrets, shady dealings, and all things scandalous of the rich elite was her ticket to success and a new career.

Soon, Maria’s love potions, psychic readings, spiritual guidance, and all manner of herbal remedies became the talk of the town. Savvy business woman that she was, promised results were based on ability to pay. But she still charged a pretty penny–$10.00 if you were poor–and that was back then!

Although there were reportedly over 300 voodoo priests and priestesses practicing in New Orleans at the time, only Maria had earned the title of Boss woman.

She was known for putting on frightening and gory voodoo shows. Nasty dancing with  with a scary-long snake named Zombi and beheading roosters drew very large crowds.The money poured in.

She died a wealthy and powerful woman in 1881 at the ripe old age of 89. An impressive life for a woman living during those times. She earned power, money, and prestige through her wits and determination.

Her daughter, Marie Laveau the 2nd continued in the family biz.

 Voodoo: The word comes from the West African vodun, which means “spirit.” The religion began in Haiti and is a combo of many different African beliefs, which are often mixed with Catholic-like practices and rituals.
The religion centers around the belief that spirits have power and influence over the natural world. Therefore, a connection with the spiritual world is needed to make a physical, spiritual, or emotional change.
Several types of powerful ancestral spirits can be summoned:
rada: nice spirits associated with white magic
petro: mean spirits associated with black magic.


Marie Laveau: How would you like a Voodoo Queen for a mom? 

Related Links: Other Fab Females
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Impatient Me ! Life in the Fast Lane

My family agrees!

My students as well. I can be a bit impatient. My students are used to me saying “let’s go, let’s go” as they shuffle paperwork forward or as I shoo them to their next class.

My family knows I absolutely, positively hate waiting in a line. I fidget, my brow furrows, my teeth clench. A fast moving line I can deal with. A slow-line, a what-the-heck-is-taking-so-long-with-that-order line sets me on edge. I wasn’t always this way. I used to be a patient person.

I blame my children. A mom of 4 children has a lot to get accomplished every day. Piles of laundry, diapers, dishes, grocery shopping, driving here and there for this and that.  I learned to do everything FAST!  Life demanded it!

My children’s pleas still echo in my ear: Hurry up! I’m gonna be late to (fill in event).

I had to throw groceries into the cart FAST before one of them 1) had to pee, 2) threw a tantrum, 3) knocked something from the shelf, 4) got cranky.

I learned to make dinner FAST before 1) I had to drive someone somewhere, 2) I needed to pick someone up, 3) someone got cranky, 4)  the baby woke up, 5) the baby had to be fed again.

Speed was important because with 4 children–you never knew what the next minute would bring. One minute everything would be great–the next, a child  might 1) fall and bust open their head, 2) stuff a snail into their mouth, 3) learn how to unlock the front door, 4) escape from the car seat, 5) start a fire in the kitchen,  7) escape from your grip to run across the parking lot…well, you get the picture.

Speed has served me well in a few areas of life. Not all–that’s where the no patience thing started. You might call it impatience, but I call it efficiency.

True story: An ex-husband used to tell me to “Hurry up and relax.”  Huh?

So when I found this video of John Pinette’s “Get out of the Line”  comedy routine, it became a favorite.
I was so glad to learn I was not the only one who has difficulty with people who get to the front of the line and then take forever to order or ask dumb questions about the menu!


Related Posts: Sequestration at my houseQueen of T.PWanted: Food Fairy; Moms Smoke signals; Pantry Pandemonium

Teen Slang 3

Are you flossin’ to your friends about your knowledge of slang!

Final 20 words! I saved the easiest ones for last! (Although I included a few obscure terms  just to “keep it real.”)

1. steelo
2. bomb
3. crib
4. ghetto
5. yo
6.keep it real
7. play
8. all that
9. player
10.kill it
11. grip
12. hot
13. holla
14. cold
15. what’s up
16. off the hook
17. beef
18. peace
19. ice
20. floss


Definitions below!

1. steelo: noun: 1. style   2: confidence
2. bomb: ( often followed after da)  adj: 1. excellent  2. popular
3. crib: noun: house, abode
4. ghetto: adj: cheap, imitation
5. Yo: interjection denoting surprise, recognition. hey (In Shakespearean times is was ho— only one letter change)
6. keep it real: verb: to tell the truth, to be authentic
7. play: verb: 1. to deceive, mislead, lie to  2. noun: sex
8.  all that: adj; arrogant, pompous, egotistic
9. player: noun: one who is sexually assertive with multiple sexual partners, one who is skilled with flirting or manipulating others
10. kill it: verb: to do a great job/task, to perform well
11. grip: noun: a large amount,
12. hot: adj: attractive,trendy
13. holla: verb: to call out 2. noun; a greeting
14. cold:  adj: cruel, unkind,
15. What’s up ( pronounced wazzup or wad up) interjection: greeting
16. off the hook: adj, very fun/enjoyable,
17. beef: noun: problem, negative reaction
18. peace or peace out: interjection: good bye
19. ice: noun: jewelry, diamonds,
20. floss: verb:1.  to brag, to show off. 2. to pretend

Are you keeping hip with the times or are you no longer in the teen lingo loop?

OK folks, that’s all for the slang words! Hope you had fun!

Related Links: Teen Talk; Teen Slang #2
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Teen Slang 2

Don’t be a tool!

OK hipsters! I have 20 more words for you! Let’s see if you know the definition of these slang terms.

1. tool
3. trip
4. beat
5. chill
6. wack
7. tight
8. bunk
9. dis
10. bling
11. game
12. props
13. step off
14. front
15. played
16. lit
16. janky
18. dope
19. Hoopty
20. hater

Here are the definitions.

1. tool: noun: fool, person with no self-esteem
2. down: adj: to be in agreement
3. trip: verb: to panic, worry
4. beat: adj: being old -fashioned, not trendy, boring
5. chill: verb; to relax,to clam down
6. wack; adj: crazy, inappropriate, weird, stupid
7. tight: adj: cool, excellent, begin emotionally close to a person(s)
8. bunk: adj: no true, unacceptable, disagreeable, false
9. dis: verb: short for disrespect, criticize,
10. bling: noun: jewelry, shiny, sparkly
11. game: noun: having charisma, people skills, sex appeal
12. props: noun: to give credit, to praise,
13. step off: verb:to leave alone, to retreat
14. front: verb; to pretend to be something your not
15. played: verb: over used, tired
16. lit: noun: to get drunk, high OR to get angry
17. janky: adj:nasty, tacky, worthless
18. hoopty: noun: old, dilpatidated  car
19. dope: adj: awesome, great
20: hater: noun: a person who is jealous of another

How many did you get correct?
Think you can
 you use the words in a sentence? Leave a comment using the terms!

20 more words tomorrow!

Related Links: Teen Slang; Teen Talk 3#
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Teen Talk

“Yo dawg, how mad cool are you?” (translation: hey good friend, how crazy cool are you?)

Sometimes when teenagers speak it sounds like a foreign language. It is! But I think this generation has created a whole lot more vocabulary than back “in the day.” If you remember “boss” or “narley” (spelling?) then you’re OLD dude.

Test your coolness. Can you define the following words?

1. po-po
3. mad
4. roll
5. hella
6. sick
7. aiight
8. cheddar
9. dime out
10. biter
11. mack
12. jack
13. straight
14. word
15. bounce

How did you do?

Here are the answers:

1. po-po: noun: police
2.  dawg: noun: 1.male friend ( not to be confused with dawging) 2.unattractive person either morally or phsyically)
3. mad: adj: many, astonishing, prodigious, a lot of, many
4. roll:verb:  to leave ( especially in a vehicle), to go, how you handle something
5. hella: adverb: to a high degree, exceedingly, very
6. sick: adj: great, of high quality, talented, exceptional
7. aiight: adj: acceptable, agreeable
8. cheddar: noun: money
9. dime out: verb: to inform on, tell on, expose, to rat out
10 .biter: noun: a plagarizer, or unoriginal person, copy cat
11. mack: 1. verb: to kiss, to flirt;   2,  noun: male who gets lots of sexual attention
12. jack: verb: to steal: noun: nothing
13. straight: adj, all right, fine, honest
14. word: noun; a response, endorsement, or greeting
15: bounce: verb: to leave, to go away

I’ll post 15 more words tomorrow!

WARNING: Do not attempt to use these words in a serious conversation with teens. But by all means, use words to add humor.

“I’m grounding you for coming home late, cuz that’s how mom rolls.”
“Yo honey, mom’s gotta bounce.”
Related Links: Teen Slang #2; Teen Slang #3
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Survival Saturday: Tripping the Light Fantastic

lightsIt’s THAT time of year! Time for Hubby to drag out the dusty boxes full of Christmas lights. It ain’t a pretty sight!

The photo you see is our neighbor’s light display!

“Honey, Our neighbor is STILL putting Christmas lights up!”
Hubby—who is not competitive at all ( cough, cough)— walks outside and waves to our over zealous, light-tastic neighbor. “This year, I’m gonna out light him!”
“Sure you are.”
“This year I mean it. I’m pullin’ out all the stops! I’ve drawn a diagram, bought more extension cords…”
Hubby proceeds to take down and unpack all the boxes labeled Christmas lights.
“This year, we’re gonna have the most lights!” He says while laying light strands across the yard.
The neighbor in question takes weeks to put up his lights. We have NO IDEA where he stores the stuff either—his garage just isn’t big enough.
Fast forward an hour…
“I can’t find the reindeer or the angel’s head. Think anyone will notice?”

Nah, no one will notice a headless angel!

“How does a  reindeer-sized box go missing?” 
I think I threw the reindeer out last year. Only its ass lit up—it looked so wrong.”
Last year, our teens had many colorful names for the booty-lit deer. Since this is a PG blog, I regrettably cannot repeat those hilarious crude epithets. They even made a song about it to the tune of Rudolph,The Red-nosed Reindeer.

Now, just so you know, there is NO POSSIBLE way my husband can compete with the retired (we think) carpenter across the street. But every year Hubby buys several more decorations. Inflatable Santa is his favorite. No assembly required.

This Saturday, Hubby—wearing golf clothes—tells me he will be stopping by the golf course on his way to buy more decorations.

Our Christmas light collection to date:

  • 3 boxes of semi-tangled icicle lights
  • 2 boxes of  blanket lights to throw over bushes
  • 1 inflatable Santa—who appears a bit on the ethnic side—Hubby says he’s tan.
  • 1 impossible to put together mechanical elves-on-teeter-totter
  • 1 angel with trumpet
  • a 5-ft lighted wreath that requires balancing on a ledge from a 2nd story window to hang—-Scary ( the precarious procedure used to hang it, not the wreath).
  • 1 snowman
  • As of 3 PM: one inflatable bear   

 I’ll try to classy the place up with a few poinsettia by the door.

Can’t wait to see what Hubby comes home with next.

Please, everyone, stay safe this Holiday Season.

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Do you love or hate Black Friday?


Black Friday? No thanks.

It’s frightening! The crazed mobs—people hell-bent on getting the absolutely lowest price ever ever…ever.

Many fine, sane people make Black Friday a family tradition. And they even have a system honed from years of service to the Black Friday gods.

  • They calculate their approach.
  • Organize flyers and coupons.
  • Deploy funds months in advance
  • Arise before dawn.
  • Suit up for action, combat, speed, and comfort.
  • Strategize their plan of attack shopping.
  • Map out the parking lot.
  • Calculate the route.
  • Project space needed in car trunk.
  • Enlist volunteers.
  • And they’re off!

They have Black Friday on the Internet, you know. It’s safe and there’s no worry about flash mobs or aisle insanity or vigilante bargain hunters.

Here’s a few reasons why I stay as far away from the malls on Black Friday as possible.

  • Still recovering from chopping, slicing, cooking, serving, cleaning up from the day before.
  • My grown children want cash or gift cards—preferably with a few zeroes at the end.
  • My children send me links to any desired item.
  • Crowds are scary.
  • The parking lots are terrifying.
  • I hate hate hate  really dislike waiting in lines.

Quick story: My daughter, who is employed at a big name store in the local outlet mall, worked her first Black Friday last year. She was a bit nervous, especially after hearing all the horror stories of shoppers gone wild. “Oh well,” she said brightly, “At least the day will go by fast.”

After dragging her weary self in the door eight hours later, she flopped on the couch. “My face hurts! I can’t smile anymore. It was awful!”

“What happened?”

“The district manager made me stand at the front door all day and repeat the same thing over and over. ‘Happy Holidays. Everything is buy one, get one half off. Thank you for shopping at XXXX.’ A billion times! And I had to be super happy every time I said it!”

No doubt.

So, Best Wishes all you fearless Black Friday shoppers.

I applaud your bravery and spunk and fortitude.

God Bless and may the shopping Force be with you.

And to those who are working the other side of the registers on that day.

Good luck!

Pompous job titles

At a fabulous party the other day, a good looking someone claimed he was a “warranty analyst” when I asked what he did for a living.
“What’s that?” I inquired seeking clarification.
The person hemmed and hawed; I remained clueless. Customer service, perhaps?


I didn’t ask…however, I returned his pompous job title and vague explanation with one of my own. “I’m a fiction facilitator by night and education activist by day.”


Do I need to say the person promptly walked away in a huff!
The following day, I told my students they were “knowledge organizers.” They liked the sound of that.

In today’s world of political correctness and self-esteem pandering is it any wonder we have so many pretentious job titles?

Here’s a few other pompous titles:
Canine companion= dog owner
Communication cohort= friend
Entertainment analyst= jobless 18 yr old
sanctioned bloviater=attorney
nail technician= manicurist
food expediter=fast food worker
Inflate your job title! 
Do you have any other examples? Please share!