Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone who chose to celebrate, had a blessed and Merry Christmas! Including today, there's only 5 more days left in 2007 and that's a wrap! Let's make the best of it!





Jen and I spent Christmas day with my Goddaughter Kalee and her family. It's been pretty much an annual event for me for over 10 years.

Oh yeah, I forgot to add our Elf Yourself.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Turning the Titanic Around- Black Hair Care

Since teaching at a school with such a high concentration of black students, I'll be doing some research over the holidays to find websites and videos to share information about black hair, hair care, natural vs. relaxed, and the industry for my kids, especially the girls to check out.

We have a lot of store front Asian owned hair supply stores in Waco as most small and large cities do as long as there is a decent population of blacks to fork over their hard earned money to. And yes as the videos below display the community in which these stores serve are often poor, depressed and economically disadvantaged.

I know when I was a hair care junkie, whenever I went into, and still if I did today, the beauty supply shops, there was a low interest from the staff in giving me products to help my hair, but instead a high interest in them selling me whatever. I will say that when I lived in Houston, my favorite hair supply store which was in the Hobby area on 8326 Broadway St., was owned by an African gentleman. ANAN Beauty Supply. He was wonderful and extremely helpful and honest about making suggestions for my haircare needs. He had lots of supplies and hair, so I'm thinking he had no problem getting product from the distributors. The videos below are from a few I searched and found this morning on youtube. Thank you Karen Halliburton, for sharing your website as well. Very informative.



And so BOBSA was formed.











The struggle in London as well.



Nappy Roots Documentary




Some of my girls are so "fogged" in their self perception, it's nothing for them to walk up and down the hallways with their hair alllll over their head. They are getting better about not walking around with a comb stuck in their hair. I will tell them in a second that that's "Ghetto". I tell them, "You are a princess" and ask them to kindly remove the comb from their hair. If I can just get them to become "aware" that they can be seen and that they are not isolated. So in one way they are image conscious, and in another way, they aren't.

It's weird because one of the boys was commenting in a very direct manner to one of the girls in class about how her hair was breaking off and that she was becoming bald headed. He told her to "do something" with her hair. The sad part about it was, he was telling the truth. The sadder part about it was, she was trying to do something about it. She is one of mine who has the comb in her hair daily, yet her hair is all over her head. I saw how helpless you looked trying to defend herself, rebutting to him that she was gonna get a perm. My heart sank.

The kids look at my locks and some admire them, but have no clue or idea of how they can get to the place I am in. Jen and I discussed investing in one young lady who's a good braider and getting her trained in SLs and have her help the revolution begin here in Waco. I really believe if they knew what to do, they would do it. I know these girls are tired of damaging their hair at their young tender ages already, but do not know how to get out of this trap. Until then, they will just do what they see in the videos, in the magazines, and among each other, all the while for those who can't take care if it, will continue ruining their hair. My question to the online natural hair community is how do we become an agent for change? Do we just complain about what we see, or do we do something about it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's my Anniversary! 4 yrs today!


I remember when I joined Lockitup Yahoo group along with Nappturality less than two weeks after I was Sisterlocked and saw sisters sign off of their posts, "SL'd 48 months" and I was thinking to myself, "Geez, I'm 'no' month!" And alas, the day has come where I sign off, too, with hopefully more to add as the days, weeks, months and years go by, more of what I've been blessed to experience the past four years. I asked Jen a week ago if she had it all to do over what would she have done differently about getting Sisterlocks. Her reply was simply, "I'd have gotten them ten years sooner!" I concur. For anyone who's visited and sorted through my blog or Fotki album over the past couple of years and seen pictures of old, you'd know where I've been and how far I've come. Yes, for those who haven't experienced it yet, it is indeed a journey, but one worth the trip. I have days when I think, "I'll cut em' all off and start over. I know what all the stages feel like and it would be no big deal going through those stages again." I also ponder the day I'll ever color my hair again. Yes, still many things to consider while on this journey.
A word of solace for those who have "thinning crowns". I too, started out with a thin crown and over the years have either overlooked the fear of balding or obsessed over it. It is what it is. It's still thin up top and sometimes it's more obvious than other times. Unfortunately, I can say that if you are having a thinning crown problem, Sisterlocks will not "fix" the problem, but it can definitely help camouflage the situation. My hair began to noticeably thin out on top some time in 1998 when I was religiously wearing individual braids for about 4 years straight, with no breaks. I think it was just too much stress on the top of my hair, not to mention a very stressful job and lifestyle back then. I finally got locked 5 yrs later, so quite a bit more damage without solutions was done. So go figure. Like I said, it is what it is.

I do miss the short and sassy locked days simply because more hair means more to shampoo and deal with. I mean, this mane gets heavy when shampooing in the shower. I also have a harder time holding curls. Not too happy about that. I guess that comes with learning how to manage and take care of a new length of hair. As far as growth is concerned, Jen nor I can go 3 1/2 to 4 weeks without having to retighten, which is a bit of a pain. From year 3 to 4 it seems we have experienced major growth spurts. I don't mind it slowing down, cause I need a break! Locked, my hair spans up to 10-11 inches, the longest my hair has ever been in my life, as stated many times before. It's nothing for me to throw a scrungee on and hit the door! With my busy schedule 1st year teaching, it has been a lifesaver.

So for now, I'll send a heart-felt thank you to all those beautiful, dynamic, strong and resourceful locked women and men who've followed the trip with me so far. I now have soooo many friends and loved ones world-wide, and who'd of thought it all was birthed from me being "sick and tired of being sick and tired of dealing my nappy hair".

I'm considering a 2008 New Years Locked Hair Collage and video in the Locked Hair Blog Exchange. I'd really like to do a special collage of sisters, mothers, and daughters. I think that would be so beautiful since so many women are inspiring their loved ones to return to their natural selves and come home to Sisterlocks! I'll blog more perhaps when school lets out in about 3 weeks. This took longer than I expected tonight and I still have grades to enter in the system. Stay tuned!!!

Blessings...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Month 47-Birthday came and went

I turned 37 Oct. 9th. Announcing it now can give you a clue as to how busy I've been with teaching. Jen and I went to the park two weeks ago and she took some pictures of me. Yesterday she retightened my hair (one of my birthday gifts from her). Enjoy the Slideshow. I'll add more soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Miss Evans, How much them Sisterlocks Cost?

Every night when I come home, one of my ways of decompressing is visiting Lockitup to see what the ladies and some gentlemen are talking about. One of the topics is the cost of Sisterlocks. Renea did a good job of addressing it in her blog, but since I'm teaching 7th Math this year, I decided to do some quick calculations on my "pre" and "post" Sisterlock fees.

I had a standing appointment every six weeks when I lived in Houston to see my dear Ms. Linda who braided my hair (I'll add a picture of her beautiful work later). I gladly gave her $100 (not including tip days) and the cost of driving about an hour both ways from Webster (Clear Lake City) to the southwest side off Beltway 8 and Fondron. I would spend the better part of 5-6 hours with her each time, according to what beautiful and creative style we'd come up with. I was her guinea pig. That costed me about $860 a year for almost 3 years (not including gas). The hair, which sometimes was synthetic and sometimes human, totaled about $325 for the year. We're at $1185 so far. Ooops, did I mention I was a "hair care" junkie? I wasn't addicted to creamy crack, but I definitely was addicted to all the supplements. That would run me on average about $250 a year. This includes every "new super hair growth" product, shampoo, cream, oil, etc. We're up to $1435 now. I'll stop there.

When I got Sisterlocked. My initial cost almost 4 years ago (the good ole' price days) was $375 which included my consultation, locking session, locking kit, and follow-up retightening. The locking session only took 8 hours.

The 8.6 times a year retightenings came to roughly $516. I paid a flat rate of $60 at that time, which my dear consultant Imani always got me out of there in less than 2 hours. That's about $890. The deliverance from being a "hair care" junkie saved me a couple of hundred dollars a year, so I'd say I probably spent about $100 on SL products, if that a year. So that comes to about $990 for the 1st year and about $600 for the year after that. You do the Math.

In in the summer of 2005 I took the retightening class from my other dear consultant Gigi, which costs me $125. With the exception of only one visit since then, which costs me about $90 and a trip to Euless, that's about it, with the big pay-outs on Sisterlocks. The SL haircare supplement costs are still about the same, but for the most part, I've been saving money, hand over fist.

Now, that I have a lil' income teaching, I plan on scheduling retightenings again with Gigi, so I can get pampered. I also plan on giving some beauticians here in Waco an opportunity to touch my hair by shampooing, rollings and styling it. I may let them do some cute up-dos or a french roll. We'll see. I just need to get through my first year teacher hazing period. I miss blogging, so that's why I had to post about the question, "Miss Evans, How much them Sisterlocks cost"?

I'll be back later to update on my first days of school. So far, so good!! I gotta get dressed and out the door. Laters! Oh yeah, the students at my school know exactly what my hair is, so much that yesterday this girl was telling me my "dreads" were "tight" and one of my students corrected her and said, "Those are Sisterlocks." She was like, "Sisterlocks?" I just told her to "google it."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Adding a Photobucket Slideshow to your Blog

Sign into photobucket. Sign in to blogger as well. OK in photobucket, when I create a slideshow, I see after it saves, it then it allows me to name it, then appears on the screen. To the right of the slideshow it says, "Share URL, Direct Link or HTML." The one I chose to post into my blog is "HTML Tag". I copy the tag, and then go back into my blogger account. There I sign into blogger and click on "Dashboard". The choices of my blogs comes up there. Where you see your personal blog name and not the LHBE, click on "New Post". The blank new post comes up. Before you paste, click on the link to the right that says, "Edit HTML". After you click on that link, then you paste the slideshow into the post. You know you've done it right when you see the embedded link which will look something like this: embed type="application. shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://wmg.photobucket.com/pbwet.swf?pbwurl=http://wmg.photbucket.com/
albums/v198/maryee09/Sisterlocks/FtWorth81907/b255167c.pbw" height="360" width="480">

After you see this, then click on "Preview". The slideshow should come up. Now if you want to make a comment/message about the slideshow, this is where it can get a lil' confusing. When you click on "hide preview", the slideshow disappears altogether,which gives the illusion that you deleted it. Don't panic, it's still there. Even when you click on "Compose", it still doesn't show up. Don't worry.

Click on Edit HTML again and type any word at the beginning or ending of the embedded file code. Now click on "Compose" again. You will see your word. It's at that place that you can begin to type whatever you'd like to say about the slideshow. When you click "preview" again, you'll see your message. If you want to create your message at the top of your slideshow, then start typing (while in HTML Edit mode) before the embedded code. If you want your message to be at the end, then start typing at the end of the embedded code. You can go back clean it up by adding bolds. links, etc. simply by going back to the "Compose" area after you've typed a few words to find it in the blog post.

Very Important: At the top left of your screen, you should see the name of your blog, and not the Locked Hair Blog Exchange. If you see the LHBE, you've posted in the wrong blog. You don't have to "re-do" everything you've done so far, all you have to do is go back and click on "Edit HTML" and copy everything that's in the post, go back into dashboard and click on "new post" in your blog and then paste.

Here's what I came up with while practicing going through the steps for this blog post:


Hopefully this will help those who want to add some pizazz to their blogs. If you're still confused, let me know. Technology takes a little practice, but once you're up and running, you just seem to fly!!!!! I wish you well in your continued growth in your locks, with technology and your life!

Monday, August 20, 2007

DFW Locked Hair Gathering



We had a really nice end of the summer gathering in Ft. Worth, Tx at Pappadeaux's 8/19/07. Bev organized and hosted the event and did a fab job! Jenn Jenn, who has the gift of hospitality, provided the most sweetest loveliest door prize gifts for all attendees. One of Gigi's male customers was in attendance and offered some pleasant conversation. He had traditional locs. As usual we had new attendees whose hair looked fantastic. Some said they already knew who most of us were from our blogs, which was nice.

We also had a few who were interested in getting their hair locked. The greatest benefit of attending a gathering of locked hair folks and you're interested in getting your hair locked is, you have the liberty to touch everyone's locks and get away with it, so to speak. You also get to ask millions of questions and see close-up how no two heads are alike. It's a fascinating experience. We did have a bittersweet moment, because two of the attendees are relocating to the East and West coast. Thank God for internet, blogging, and myspace. We shall remain in touch via the www. I'm posing in a couple of shots with each of them in the photo collage. Not sure who's hosting it next, so you'll have to be on the look out.

Enjoy the pics in my fotki album! Your comments are welcome!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Washington DC Trip

I wanted to post a few pictures and the link to photo album folder of the DC trip. The album is pretty large because I took over 400 pictures in the 9 days of our tour. There's about 15 albums. Hopefully the media will interview the kids while everything is still fresh on their minds as well as documenting the experience for future reference. For all of us, it was a trip of a lifetime. There were many moments that impacted the students such as sitting on the House/Senate floor hearing Sen. John Lewis' testimony of his experience during the civil rights movement. I'm not so sure the students fully understood that they not only met, but heard from a living legend. A little closer to home, they met and spoke with our local Senator who serves on the Budget and Appropriations committees, Chet Edwards.

The tour of the Capitol as well as traveling past the Row Houses in Baltimore was especially intriguing for the students. The most daunting part of the trip was visiting the bottom floor of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum's collection of lynching in the nation. The displays and images will be ones I doubt they ever forget with regard to the struggle of our forefathers for the many rights we in some cases take for granted today. Your comments are welcome, especially if you want to leave any for the students to congratulate them or encourage them. The ones who were able to attend were selected by their behavior, grades and potential for leadership in the coming year at school. They'd love to hear from you.

Here's the album. Enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Guess who I met in Maryland?

I will blog about the entire DC trip before the week is up, but I didn't want to go too long without sharing that I got a visit to the hotel the night before we departed from two LHBE blogger sistahs in the DC area. Ms. Ayankha and Ms. Sunsail! I called Sunsail and she called Ayankha and we then made plans to meet up. It was such a blessing to finally meet them. Next time I'll have to meet the rest of the DC/MD ladies.

You know the first thing we did after hugging each other was to dig in each other's hair! You would have thought it was a high school, college, sorority reunion. We all have different hair textures and are in different stages of our lock journey, so it was very special to have some of the girls on the trip see Sisterlocks up close on someone else's head other than mine. I got plenty of flack from them about nappy hair being ugly so most weren't feeling my locks. As I've stated before, Waco is braid, weave, perm city.

When they saw the three of us together, they were mesmerized with what they saw. The ladies were a delight. We talked about blogging, school, our hair, their SOs and other random topics. Next time Ayankha and Sunsail, I'll have to make a trip where I have the freedom to get out and about so ya'll can show me the town. Ya'll know you need to go ahead and have a natural hair gathering ASAP! But for now, I'm happy for the fellowship we shared.

These kids, boys and girls a like were super exposed to the world of real natural hair and locs. Most all boys and girls alike were encurlturated (my made up word) on the difference between traditional locs, loc extensions, Sisterlocks, freeformed locks, twists, etc. I had my Sisterlock journals passing them around as well as the No Lye book, by Tulani Kinard. The biggest immersion they experienced was Sunday afternoon in Hanover, MD at the BLVD., for those of you who know where that shopping strip is. Now ya'll know black folks on a Sunday afternoon...Church goers too tired to or desiring not to cook piled into Golden Coral. And I tell you it was locks, locs, locz galore. From men, to women, in all shapes and sized. They kept saying, "Miss Evans, what are those? Are those Tradional, Sisterlocks? Freeform? His locs are sexy (referring to a brother who's traditionals were tight)." It's like over time, they softened up about the idea of wearing natural hair. There were lots of younger brothers with locks to and past their shoulders. Now there were some folks who had their locks pretty unkept (mostly men). But it was their total package that displayed such a site. Most everyone else had their locs in check. I had to remind the kids that for every kind of hair style, you have some jacked up looks, perms, naturals, whatever.

The big question was, "If you don't want it anymore, you have to cut it off, right?" I kept telling them that if they had a perm and decided they didn't want a perm anymore, they'd simply cut the perm off, with regard to those of us who lock. That seemed to shut them up. When it rained or they went swimming, it took a toll on lots of the girls' hair. I kept smiling and reminding them that benefits to having locked hair was freedom from "wet hair" drama.

I'm just glad they were exposed. Mind you, you can count on both hands the number of locked folks in Waco, Tx. So this was a big for many of them. One thing I did learn was that it will take more information, self-love and positive expression naturally to turn the titanic mentality around with all generations.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Month 43 Slideshow

I took these pics somewhere between my Mexico and DC trip. No curls, no styles, just free stylin. I think I was taking a break between retightening. There's a little bit of photo editing with HP Premiere.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

From New York to Mexico to Washington, DC

Well, I guess I can say that this is the summer of travel for me. It all started in May when I told my cousin Chris that I wanted to share in the celebration of her getting her bachelor's degree from Monroe College. The graduation was oddly on a Monday, June 11th, but since school was out for us, I was determined to be there. She and are are the same age and I've watched her from a far work two jobs and raise her daughter as a single mom and go to school. She's got a lot of strength and when she has her eyes on the prize, she goes and gets it! Jen decided she'd join me and what do you know, they overbooked our flight from Waco to DFW! We were given $500 in travel voucher and a nice free trip in a white stretch limo in return for giving up our seats. We had a nice relaxing time hanging out with family and just chillin' lazily around good ole' Money Earnin' Mt. Vernon, NY. We even got to check out my cousin's daughter, Jade play a few games of minor league baseball. She just turned nine in May and is a little athlete, I might say!

We spent quality time with my aunt, uncle, and my other cousins and before you knew it, it was time to go! The graduation was beautiful, even though it poured down raining afterwards. During the trip however, I spent a good amount of time chatting back and forth with Sunsail who had planned a trip to see her mother in Brooklyn and Cluizel, who just happens to be a native of Mt. Vernon, about how we could all hook up at Carol's Daughter and perhaps go out to eat in the city. Unfortunately, Sunsail and I didn't get to meet, but we had so much fun chatting and going back and forth about blogging and Sisterlocks. I think I even spoke with her after the quite interesting conversation she had with her mother and aunt. I'll be in her area this week and hope we can get together. Jen and I did get to meet Miss Cluizel and Mr. Nicolay on our last night in town. Please view the slide show.


My trip to Mexico seemed to have flown by. It's hard to believe it's over. Hopefully the pictures will express the beauty of the area I stayed as well as visited. Now all my photos from my Mexico trip aren't organized, but if time permits before school starts, I'll put together a whole video. If not, what you see is what you get. Of course I know eleven days is not enough to soak it all up and return fluent and all, but it was definitely a kick in the pants to get serious about getting my Spanish back. I shall be enrolled in night classes this fall and doing private study on my own. Photos from my fotki album are here.

Now on to Washington, DC. I accepted a position at a school in our district, G.L. Wiley to teach 7th Math. I am scared, nervous, anxious, excited, and all those feelings 1st yr teachers have, I suppose. The school was on the brinks of closure this year but the state is going to give them one more chance to get their act together. The principal was a 6th grade Math teacher and the person I am replacing was promoted to Instructional Specialist at the same school. Also, on top of that, the 8th Math teacher was moved to that school specifically to help improve TAKS test scores because of her experience and expertise. She really turns students around. I say all that to say, he (the principal) assured me I was going to get good support. The school has had several years of a black cloud hanging over it, so it will be a challenge as well as a motivation to do my job and do it well. The student population is predominately black in a cyclical low income, high crime, drop out, high drug etc. area. Even with the negative stigma that has been placed on the school, I am hopeful.

Well in the morning, a group of about 40 of those students from the school will be taking a nine day Civil Rights Heritage Tour. Most of these children would never have an opportunity such as this to leave their home town and visit places in geography and history which focus specifically on Black History. The County Commissioner, Lester Gibson, who organizes this annually, counts it a pleasure to serve this particular black community's youth by exposing them to this type of excursion.

We will depart at 6:30am in the morning en route to West Memphis, Arkansas by tomorrow evening. Friday (20th) we depart for Lenoir, Tennessee by way of Franklin. Saturday (21st) we leave Tennessee for Roanoke, VA, and by Saturday night, we should be in Landover Hills, MD. I'll be calling Sunsail cause she said if I got close, she'd try and catch up with me. We will spend the next three days from Sunday-Tuesday in the DC area with our state Senator, Chet Edwards, Capitol area tour, and a visit to Howard University. We may go to church, too, but I am not sure where. By Wednesday morning (25th), we will make our retreat back to Waco via the same route arriving back home into Waco by 5:30pm Friday July 27th.

Well as usual I have to do the dreaded packing, which I totally abhor, but since we meet at 6:30 in the morn, I guess I'll stay up til I can't stay up no more.

I'll have to attend to the requests in the Locked Hair Blog Exchange in August. I'm too tired right now. Blessings.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Catedral, Las Mananitas and Taxco

Yesterday we visited Catedral y Convento Fanciscano de la Asuncion. Thankfully we arrived just in time for pray and a few pictures before they closed for la comida.


Last night we had dinner at Las Mananitas. It was once a part of El Madrigal, so the ambiance is pretty similar. Check out the peacocks. The picture may be too dark. They really added to the occasion.

Today we will visit Taxco. Hopefully we will have lots of shade to check out the shops. It is about an hour and a half drive from Cuernavaca, where we are staying.

Photos from my Mexico trip can be found here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Four Days left in Mexico

Thank you to everyone who has checked in me while I am away. This is a picture of my roommate Irene and me at El Madrigal, a beautiful hotel/restaurante in town. I´ll write more later when I get to the internet cafe. They give students limited time while at school. Today is my last day of school. The rest of the trip will be outings and the such! Blessings!

Oh and having Sisterlocks on this trip has been great!

Photos from my Mexico trip can be found here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I Passed!

On my way to Mexico! I'll try and update when I find an internet cafe! Thanks for the prayers!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

PPR Exam tomorrow

Greetings blog family,

I just wanted to drop by and send a quick note and request for prayers for me. Tomorrow at 2pm, I take the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Exam at Baylor for my alternative teacher's certification program. I'm ready to take it and get it behind me. I've been busy as a bee studying and trying to catch up on various tasks since my trip to NY for my cousin's graduation, which was wonderful. I have lots to update everyone on and lots of emails off line to respond to. So, if you think of me, just send up a prayer or even think good thoughts! Those are welcomed, too! I will get the results back on line July 7th! So I'll be checking their website to find out if I passed.

The picture of me is in front of the flagship Carol's Daughter. Since I only had carry on bags for the trip, I could only purchase items under 4 oz. I ended up getting the 2 oz. sizes of the Lemongrass and Geranium Toner and Khoret Amen Hair Oil,

I wanted to get the Wash Away the Oil Gentle Face Wash but they were out. Bummer. I used some of my cousin's and it made my face feel so clean and fresh. I called Creyole while I was there and she said I could pick up what ever I didn't get here at Macy's when we road trip to Dallas again. With that I was well pleased.

**Carol's Daughter can be found at Sephora in the DFW area. Thanks Creyole!!***

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Myspace "Hair Stories"

I have a myspace, but am not as active on it as Jen is. I did join a group called Natural Hair and found a nice forum with everyone's "hair stories" shared. Now you know we all have one. Most who have begun blogging have theirs somewhere hidden in their blog. Other's have it summed up in their profile. My Nappy Headed post was only the "beginning." I have to break out more pics and scan them to share the whole story. I found the myspace posts interesting to read. There's quite a bit to read, so check them out here if you like.

One of my favorite hair stories was that of Tuere ™'s. Scroll half way down the posts for her story. Isn't she and her locks just gorgeous? For those of you on myspace, drop by her page and show her some love. She's really down to earth and her voice is silky!

My girl Imani (California Consultant) started at group called Sisters In Locks. Check out her group and meet some new locked sisters. It's a fairly new group that could use a few new members.

Now, what's your hair story? Post it in your blog and comment here to let me know where it is in your blog (date) so it can be read by others . If you haven't shared your hair story, go on and do it today!! I've read lots and love hearing everyone tell their own unique story. It reassures me that I wasn't the only one to have hair care drama for decades. (LOL)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Nappy Headed...and the Gender Crisis

I have a Fotki Photo Album and believe it or not, there's a whole nother world of naturals in that community that rarely mix with the world of bloggers. I enjoy checking in on my fotki friends and we leave comments in each other's albums just like the blogger family.

One Fotki friend in particular, TrifleMC posted a question that I saw, but didn't recognize as a deliberate question to who ever wanted to respond. I decided with all this "Nappy Headed" talk going on, I'd respond to him via my blog.

His photo post is in reference to his birthmark being something that drew negative attention to him in his youth because of ridicule by those who found him to look "different". His post and question is Here.

The question he asked was...

So tell me...What is yours from birth, only cherished now?

Here's my response:

Well, I guess it is my hair, mostly for starters. My mom didn't take care of my hair when I was a child. I was the last (baby girl) and I guess she just ran out of steam or was so depressed from having the four of us (two boys and two girls) within a 4 1/2 yrs time span. She just let go of her responsibilities and was a bit overwhelmed, IMO. I have pics where all you see is the cute little "nappy headed" boy with a big ole' smile all the time. It was me, not a boy. An older white gentleman walked up to me when we were heading into the grocery store and said to my mom, "You have the cutest little boy!" I said, at a tender age of 4 or 5, "I'm not a little boy, I'm a girl!!!!" I never forgot that. I didn't take notice that I could be perceived as a different gender until someone made me aware of it.

Now don't get me wrong, who at a young age in the mid 70's would really look forward to sitting in a hot kitchen for a couple of hours, stove burning, hair sizzling over the open fire and an occasional "Psttt!! You burned me!!" before getting popped on the shoulder and scolded with "Be still" or "You moved!"? It's enough to make a young black girl do some self loathing.

There's no mistaking, I didn't have the most manageable hair. But, it seems to me that after I had this uninvited gender crisis, I was on a mission to never be called out of my gender. I was a girl! I knew what boys looked like and what made boys boys and I knew I was a girl. I demanded to get my ears pierced and I wanted big loopy earrings, like to ladies with the big afros on Soul Train wore when they did the Soul Train Line. So mom numbed my ears with some wooden cloths pins and some ice cubes and in went the sewing needle burned at the end. It was pain I was willing to endure. I picked my own matching wooden stubs off the broom for my "temporary" ear rings. Looking back on it, boy was my Mom country. But it was all worth it, so I thought. I wanted to never be confused with a smelly little boy.

My saving grace was I was a "girly" girl. I loved the colors pink and purple, Tuesday Taylor Barbie dolls and doing "girl" stuff. So then I decided that I'd endure the pain of getting burnt on the ear or sitting for a few hours in the hot kitchen hearing my own hair sizzling on the stove top that it was like my secured rights of passage to remain a girl! I then demanding to get my hair pressed, curled, corn-rolled (although it wasn't long enough for cornrolls), twigged (it was long enough for that). I remember harassing my Mom aggressively right before we took school pictures (see slideshow). That was really important to me. By the time I was nine I'd entered the world of the Jheri Curl.

Now the pain went from a sizzling hot comb to a cool bizarre smelling cream that now sizzled my scalp and yes, still my ears! "When will the pain end?" I thought. Let's not talk about the "drip drip" stay so soft spray and plastic bag and all that that went with having a processed curl. It's funny because looking back, the goal at hand was to have my hair grow. And with a curl, it did, which took some of the pressure off.

But it still didn't keep Whitman Mayo, AKA Grady (see slideshow) from calling me a boy while he gave a fundraiser speech for Sickle Cell Anemia Association in town in 1981. I was invited to the dinner and was representing the YWCA youth group. He was giving the speech and was making a point about children. I must have been the only child there, and he kept saying "Hey boy! I'm talking to you!" I knew he was talking to me. The lady I was with along with everyone else knew he was talking to me. I tried to ignore him cause I kept telling myself I wasn't no boy! Finally someone closer to him said, "That's not a little boy, sir. That's a little girl." He apologized on the mic and was deeply embarrassed. Afterwards, he made sure he called me up to apologize. That's why there's a picture (see slideshow). You could see the hurt in his eyes, even in the picture. He kept saying he'd give me whatever I wanted and how he just didn't know. He kept saying how sorry he was. I guess by that time, I was already used to it. So, I brushed it off, and climbed on his knee and took a picture with him. Years had gone by but I never forgot. About the time of me getting my Sisterlocks, I thought I'd catch up with him, and send him a picture of us back then, and a current picture of me, but it was too late. He'd already passed away in 2001.

So, without going into an extensive "my hair story", with getting Sisterlocks almost 3 1/2 years ago, I'm learning to cherish the nappy natural hair God gave me. It's been a journey of almost 30+ years of trying to get free. I'm a lot better off than where I started. I just wish the consciousness and opportunity to proudly wear our hair in it's natural state was universally accepted years ago. And we now know there's still this stigma about having "Nappy Headed" hair.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter and a few updates!

I have two more 8 hr Saturday classes and I'm done with school. So the next two weeks I'll be finishing up getting my portfolio for 20% of my final grade, preparing for the PPR final and TeXeS Exam in June. So with that being said, I'm a lil' behind in updating my blog and getting back to folks off line with "honey-dos". Can't right now. I'm also teaching in another long term assignment (7th Math) til May 1st or so and it's TAKS time so that in itself is quite stressful.

When I take a break I 'll lurk blogs and comment from time to time, but that's about it. It did snow yesterday here in Central Texas and I can only assume the weather may have been unusual in many parts of the nation. I did capture a lil bit for your viewing pleasure. Now remember, we live out in the country. So don't mind the roosters crowing!! Until I update my blog again, here's the Easter Remix.

Maryee

Monday, March 26, 2007

It rained today! Video added


And I was like...BRING IT ON!!!!!! Jen and I went to the store to get some water, juice and stuff and I heard this chic who had long freshly done either press and curl or perm and curled hair going on to another sistah about how she was not trying to go outside and get her hair wet (cause she just got her hair done)! I know it was none of my business, but Jen had headed on down the water aisle and I couldn't help but to "interject" my sentiments about the rain! I turned around to the young lady and said, "I love the rain and my hair loves to get wet!" OK, I know that was down right uncalled for, but I guess I couldn't help it! I went on to say (as if I didn't already say enough) while pointing at her hair, "I don't miss that!" Now ya'll know by this time she was looking at me like, "Lady if you and yo nappy hair don't get away from me!" I flung my hair around and got out of their business. But, I just had to reiterate that it rained today and I love my hair!!!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dr. Cornwell Meet & Greet

I finally met the lady who started it all in Dallas on 3-24-07. Gigi organized the event.
The rest of the photos are here. Don't forget to check out the special treat below. Click on the video link to hear Miss Praline sing a cappella for the ladies.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Runaway Love- Ludacris featuring Mary J. Blige


I heard this song in Walmart two nights ago and thought to myself, "interesting lyrics". My aunt mentioned it to me tonight and we pulled it up on youtube to check out the video. Many blessings to Ludacris and Mary J. Blige for putting this anthem project out. Here's an outlet for young girls to now speak out and speak up. Permission to tell the truth. Let the cleansing begin.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

39 Months compared to 14 Months

Jen took this picture of me today after I shampooed my hair. It's hard to believe that that is MY hair. It has never ever been this long in all my life. Here's another collage.








Here's my hair at 14 months. I thought I was too cute when I took pictures on this sunny day in Brea, California. You can see more of the color in the pictures.

Not sure yet if I will recolor my hair again. I have only colored my hair once, which was two days before getting my Sisterlocks. I love my Sisterlocks!!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

DFW Sisterlocks Gathering was Grand!

Thank you to all who attended the gathering. We had soooo much fun! It was a blessed time together that came and went so fast!

The collages are of me, the Silver Fox and Naijean's locks from the front and back. Beautiful!!

Please vist my MJS Productions Fotki Album to view 175 wonderful pictures!

Video coming soon! So much to do...so little time!
See ya'll next month in Dallas for the luncheon!

Blessings

Monday, February 12, 2007

DFW Gathering is Next Sunday- RSVP Please!!

I wanted to send a reminder about the DFW Gathering that will be in Waco, Tx next Sunday, February 18th from 2-5pm. Here's the Google Map of Beatnix Coffeehouse.

The Sisterlock Gatherings actually have more than Sisterlocked women who attend. It's all about embracing that natural beauty, baby! We encourage anyone to come and fellowship, be you SL'd locked, nappy, pressed, twa, it doesn't matter. We will have a great time next Sunday and those of you who are regulars, get ready to meet some new faces coming from Austin, Waco and the DFW area!!!

With that being said, I had the pleasure of meeting two new women at our last gathering who've been locked for a while and I accidently left them off the list for the video testimony debut. I must have gone video crazy that day!!!

The first is Sue, who has traditional locs. Here's Sue's Testimony here.

The next lady whom I wanted to share her testimony is Pat. She's been locked for a good minute (over six years!) and she started by way of palm rolling. Here's Pat's Testimony.

Enjoy their testimonies!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I've been tagged!

OK, Tanya was kind enough to tag me with a request of 5 things you may not know about me, so here goes:

  1. 2009 will mark my 20th High School Reunion! I was very active in school and was not only our Senior Class President, but also the first Mascot of our consolidated schools. In 1987 three schools consolidated into one: Richfield Rams, Waco High Tigers and Jefferson Moore Lions. The new school would be on the campus of Richfield, the new name would be "Waco High", and the mascot from my previous school (J-Moore) would now be the Lion. So I was the mascot for two years and to this day many folks remember me as being the mascot but forget I was Senior class President.
  2. I owned a miniature Dachshund named Sweet Pea back in 2003. She was the love of my life. Unfortunately she had an accidental death after having her only 5 months at 9 months. I was devastated. January 12th would have been her 4th birthday. I miss my Tuney.
  3. I spent my last 6 hours of obtaining my bachelor's degree from Southwest Texas State in Puerto Rico at The University of Puerto Rico the summer of 94'. It was the best class/vacation/graduation present anyone could ask for. My minor was in Spanish and I was determined to grasp the language. I spent a month there and it was fabulous! We had class Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm and took an excursion on the island on Wednesdays. We had the weekends off, so that's why I called it a "vacation". I plan on going back...real soon.
  4. I absolutely ahbor/detest/despise receiving forwards in my inbox. Especially silly hoaxes and false forwards that have gone unchecked by Snopes. Those irk me the most! I love Jesus and do not have to email 10 people to prove it! Ugh!!!!!! Check out a website who agrees with me here. I have no problem telling people I have an "anti-forward" email inbox/address.
  5. I've been taking pictures since I was 12 years old in the sixth grade! So I guess you can say I've had a 24 year career as an amateur photographer. I've also been writing/journaling for about the same time. I started with my lil' diary documenting all that was going on in my world starting in 3rd grade, I believe. Now it's time to put my passions to work for me.

Who's next? Jamlock, Katika, and Lock Venture.

Are You New To The Natural Hair Blogging Community?

I was asked off-line how to "join-in" on the fun from a person who's new to the online blogging community. Less than two years ago, there were only a few folks actively blogging about their natural hair. Now the online blogging community is growing by the day. Do a Sisterlocks Blog Search and see what I mean. Here's my own personal tips for those beginning the blogging journey. Others may have a different opinion:

Invitation? There's no real "invitation" to join in on the online blog community of natural/locked women/men. The Locked Hair Blog Exchange is by invitation if you'd like your locked hair blog in the Exchange, but for all other groups, you sign up and you're in. A lot of Sisterlocked women began their online connection from what I gather, from three main places: The Yahoo Group Lockitup, on Fotki, and the other largest community of natural hair/locked women, Nappturality. The relationships form as you post your questions and give feedback on other's journeys or your own. If you haven't joined these groups, do so ASAP and begin making comments. Spend time reading the archives, for they will provide a lot of answers to questions you have.

Making your blog a place folks want to visit. The online locked hair community wants to see pictures, pictures, pictures. And believe it or not, getting a good look at your hair is more important than seeing your face. Take good shots in good lighting so your hair can be seen. If it's not a good picture, don't waste your time uploading it.

"We be" an educated group of folk. Most of the bloggers are educated and don't enjoy visiting blogs where there's a lot of slang, typos and just plain bad grammar going on. We all have "slang" moments, but when the blog shows no form of intelligence, it may hamper visitors who will return. Although I will say there's a small niche of folk who dig that stuff. Ask yourself, if you'd enjoy reading your posts and looking at your own pictures a week, month, or year from now. That will help you in determining if posting the content or pictures is worth it. I have quite a few "drafted" posts that I didn't want to delete, but didn't feel needed to be public on my blog for whatever reason.

Keeping it current, will keep them coming. Or maybe not. Keeping your blog fairly current helps. When you are new out, don't expect because you keep your blog current that folks should be visiting it or commenting on what you have to say. You may not have readers yet, but don't stop blogging. However, when a blog isn't updated regularly it's a natural progression to stop visiting it. Trust me, I have a few dormant blogs that need major updating, so I know! I don't even visit my own old stale blogs! Ha! But seriously, try and update regularly. So as to not overwhelm you, regularly doesn't mean once a day. Once a week is just fine, and if time is an issue, once a month. Just try and keep it current.

You've found some blogs you like. What do you do next? Comment, Comment, Comment! Don't ask for comments back, but simply comment on what you like and what you're curious about. That's how the ball gets rolling. It lets one know you've been by to check out their blog/album and liked what you saw. Anyone who's interested in you and your journey will naturally visit your blog/album and comment back. Don't be offended if no one comments or if you comment on someone's blog/fotki and he or she don't return the favor. We never know why folks do or don't do the things they do and there's no use in being over sensitive about it or quivering over it. Try not to take offense or over analyze the situation. Just keep visiting blogs you like and comment on what interests you.

To link or not to link? That is the question. Don't worry about asking to "link" someone else's blog to yours. It's a courtesy to ask, but not really necessary. Most bloggers are honored you've linked to their blogs and that keeps them motivated to blog more often. Don't be offended if you link to someone's blog but they don't link yours back. You linked to theirs because you chose to. Give them that same courtesy to make their own decision to link you and if they don't link you, don't trip. Some folks may be too lazy (like me), too busy(like me) or simply choose not to for their own reasons (like Jen-she told me to add that :-)). Some may not want tons of links on their blogs. Some may not know how to link. Some don't want the pressure or bother. Don't lose sleep over it.

Why link? Linking other's blog to yours helps in search engines as well as gives one a quick reference to their blogs of choice. Blog rolling is helpful also because you can put all your favorite blogs in your blogline and update your settings to show only updated posts in the blogs. That's nice and cuts down on wasted time revisiting someone else's blog only to find out they haven't updated it. Bummer. Us avid bloggers/blog readers can be so demanding. :-)

Everything is "self-selecting" and hopefully not guilt filled when it comes to sharing in the online blog community. Folks will comment if they want to and if they choose not to, that's their prerogative. Some online relationships come fast, and others it takes a while. In some cases, no relationship will come no matter how much you want it, and that's ok, too. It's like seeing that person you'd wish would just acknowledge your presence, and ask you to join in their circle, but they never even notice you. It's like that some times. Nothing to lose sleep over. It's called "Life".

The Whole World Can See You. Remember that your blog can be viewed by the entire world so use discretion in what you say and share. Especially personal info, job related stuff, and anything else that can be used against you in a court of law! If you want to be semi-anonymous, use an online name. Some folks only show pictures of their hair, and block their faces out, which is just fine. Employers/Job Recruiters can google you so make sure you are aware of what you say. Unfortunately there are some real mean folks out there and blogging is a very open and vulnerable venue in which a lot of "you" is shared with the masses. Just be aware and careful.

Watch out for Crazies, including yourself.
Unfortunately there will be some bloggers new to the scene who visit other's blogs just to start confusion. I've seen it before and thankfully have experienced it rarely in my blogs. They probably didn't read this blog post or researched on line about how to conduct yourself as a blogger who has blog nettiquite. If you stumble upon a blog that you don't like, do yourself a favor and #1 DO NOT comment on what you don't like, and #2 NEVER visit that blog again. For the most part, the bloggers won't know how you feel, and it's best to just keep it to yourself. Don't go visiting someone's blog to "check" them. Leave them alone. There have been some ugly "cyber cat fights" on line and it's just a shame and a hot mess. If you are a rabble rouser in public, then I'm sure you're gonna start mess on line. Some folks just like drama and have no problem seeking on line. Go back and look at your blog, and if it has more of a negative, complaining, antagonistic spirit about it, you must know that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth (blog) speaks". So watch out for Crazies, including yourself.

Maryee's last piece of advice. If you really want to document your journey on line for others to see, do it! If it's with conditions that you must have "relationships"/Comments to keep you motivated in doing it, then you must check your motives. If you want comments, simply invite those who visit your blog to do so...no pressure. One of the craziest things I've done is visit someone's blog and actually comment in my head but find I'm too tired/lazy to sign on to comment. I'm super busy and zip in and zip out without commenting sometimes. I then re-visit their blogs later and could have "sworn" I commented, but I didn't cause I did it in my head and not in their blog. That always weirds me out!

Why blog? Blog because it's therapeutic for you and you want to chart your growth in all areas of your life. Blog because you are a budding writer and want to hone your craft. Blog because you are tapping into your creative juices and getting real good at technology along the way. Blog because you really want to chart your hair journey. Blog because you want to meet some "like-minded" people on line world wide and need the support and inspiration. Blog to make new friends. Blog to let friends and family see your hair growth and pictures. What ever the case, blog because you want to have fun! But remember, blogging takes work and a bit of commitment. The nicest blogs didn't get that way overnight. Those bloggers "added" a new room to their house, called a "blog". And they've been working on it to make it just right to suit their tastes and all who visit their humble abode. Oh yeah, there's also a Myspace community of Sisterlockers and on FaceBook. Let the revolution begin!!!!!!! Happy Blogging!!!

For more tips on blogging for beginners, check out this link.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

DFW Sisterlocks Gathering will be Sunday 2-18-07

Greetings,

I wanted to send a quick "save the date" of the upcoming DFW Sisterlock gathering that will be held in Waco, Tx, Sunday February 18th from 2-5pm at Beatnix Coffeehouse.

Those of you who wanted to come last time prior to the weather cancellation, you can still RSVP until Tuesday February 13th. Prepayment of $17 is requested because this is a catered event. Jen and I are excited to share with everyone in a private and relaxed venue. If you'd like to attend, please email at sweetiepp03-bloggin at yahoo.com with your RSVP and plan of payment. I accept, check/mo, or you can pay me via my paypal (please add an additional $1 as paypal charges me a fee to receive money, please).

If you'd like to see videos from the last event in Dallas, please click on the link below and view almost 2 dozen videos of lovely locked ladies!! Here's my lil' Testimony: