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If you are a true music lover, this flavored album will likely be the most glorious hour and four minutes that you’ve spent in a long time. Danger Zone, by the incomparable Judy Cheeks has arrived and it’s smoking hot. The contrast of Judy’s voice within the folds of this music is the right kind of vibe. The title track is an up-tempo dance number that will have you snapping your fingers and humming along as if you have no other choice but to walk into the “Danger Zone.”

The groove continues into the declaration-styled anthem, “Never Wanna Be Without Your Love,” where the richness of Judy’s voice is the distinct star of the track. The Stevie Wonder infused, “If I Were You,” is a petition to a lover and you can feel that in every note as she sings, “every day you try to question me about a love that your heart should see in me.” The range and pitch of her voice is phenomenal in all of these tracks and you begin to see just how seasoned and versatile Judy Cheeks is. “Hard Woman,” is an edgy track that proves the roar of a woman is like no other. With powerful conviction, it screams the freedoms of a hard woman that takes no mess! Whether the calming adoration of “Love Will,” which promises that it will give you light and change your mind, or the soul-stirring, foot-stomping, “Love Has Come Back,” there is no doubt that Judy Cheeks is a force to be reckoned with on the music scene. “So Close” leaps from the depths of Judy’s soul. Her voice is gorgeous on this romantic interlude that captures the essence of when love has been found in the purest form. She speaks of desire, and confidence, a boldness really that declares, “we are so close that I can feel you living inside me, feel you breathing through me, so close.” Other stand out tracks like, “Break Me Baby,” “Who’s That Girl, and “How Do You Do It,” are worth mentioning. There is something for everyone within the sixteen songs offered on this brilliantly executed project. The timing is perfect. The blend of Judy’s voice with the dynamics of her lyrics will minister and soothe your soul in a way that music has not done in a long time. This wave into the Danger Zone, is one worth riding.

You can link with Judy Cheeks for updates on Facebook and find her music on Itunes , Cd baby and other digital outlets.

As always- love, peace and good music,

Dee

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Screaming all the way to heaven. Happy Mothers day to my Mom and Grandmom.
These two have shaped the very fabric of who I’ve come to be. I have the sensitivity,  the humor,  the seriousness, I have the love of God, the love for others, and the gift of many things and I owe all thanks for these things to God for blessing me with the honor, and the privilege of being molded by you two. Never thought I could make it without you. And what do you know, the lessons you’ve taught me have given me just enough to go on another day. My mother. She was so very special. The sweetest sweet. The kindest kind. The nectar of fresh fruit on the the ripest day of spring, yes, that was you. My Jumae. The quintessential everything. The strongest strong. Songbird of all songbirds. Loving strong and hard, and in it all there was beauty. In it all, there was God. I could write all day, and I could cry all day. But instead, I choose to remember, and reflect, and thank God for his magnificent selection. Who would I be if I didn’t know you two? The thought rattles me. I stand and represent that I am the woman that knew you both, and I loved you pure and you loved me back. You taught me best. And for that, I salute you. Happy Mothers day Ma & Jumae !

{{{{HUGS}}}}}
Happy Mothers day moms, and to anyone who has lost a mother or a grandmother, I feel your heart. You are not alone. Be encouraged and have a great day remembering the life of the one who came before you and made it all possible for you to exist.

xoxo
Peace and love,
Dee

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Remember that..?
The year was 1994. I was 22 years old.
Young. Impressionable. Mean as ever, but this film taught me a valuable lesson. I believed in love.
I was in young love at the time, but I didn’t want my love. Oh no, I wanted the love  Jason was showing Lyric.

Jason’s Lyric is a romantic drama, written by Bobby Smith, Jr, and directed by Doug McHenry. These two were notable and equally successful as producers with various films, including the classic, New Jack City.

Jason’s Lyric features actors including Allen Payne (who I was in love with), Jada Pinkett Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Treach, Eddie Griffin, Lahmard Tate, Lisa Nicole Carson, and Forest Whitaker. The story is set in Houston, Texas, and centers around a group of young adults who learn to deal with hurt, love and maturity, in the mist of very trying times.

Jason (Allen Payne my love *smile*) is a stand up guy who could have been a product of his colorful environment, but instead has a straight track mind, and a job in a television repair shop. He  lives at home with his loving, hard-working mom (Suzzanne Douglas) whom he adores. His bad, narrow minded brother Joshua (Bokeem Woodbine) is the younger of the two and has just been released from prison, and he and Jason are like night and day. Josh is a volatile, alcoholic who is clearly mental and extremely disturbed. He’s an an ex-con who is destined for nothing short of a violent end. He deals drugs for petty cash and joins a crew plotting a bank robbery.

When Lyric (Jada Pinkett Smith) walks into the shop where Jason works to buy a television, Jason is immediately smitten. She has dreams laced in what seems like fairytale, etched in poetry, mapped out by way of escape. She inspires Jason, and invites him into another world that he didnt know existed. Their relationship suddenly blossoms into love.

Jason has nightmares of his rocky childhood, that is filled with domestic abuse and tradgedy. Forest Whitaker plays his father, Mad Dog. Througout the film we learn that either Jason or Joshua killed Mad Dog while he drunkenly attacked their beloved mother. Lyric forces him in the most gentle , but truthful way to learn to deal with his past, and move on with his life.

“I can’t be hurt by you Jason, but that’s exactly what your gonna do if you keep trying to save a brother that don’t wanna be saved.”

“Sometimes heroes have to walk away. Walk away, Jason… or we can’t be together.”

Damn…

This comes enlight of the brewing war between Lyrics thug ass brother Alonzo, and the death wish crazy gun toting Joshua.

The plot thickens..

Now look, when I saw this film in the movies, I was with a group of eight, yet it was if I was there alone. Well, me and Jason.
Tehe…
I was so enthralled in it, that it was like I had become Lyric. There is a part near the end when she was shot, and I began to weep. Not cry. Honey, I wept. Loudly.
It took me a while to come down from that moment. Someone sitting in back of me said out loud, “Damn, what you know them.”
That’s when I snapped back to reality. I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had let my hard, no nonsense self slip in puplic like that. I didn’t even know I had those kinds of feelings. But that was the day that I realized I believed in love.

These were young black folks, just like me. I’ve always loved the magic and enchantment of the fairytale. Because of Jason’s Lyric, baby I knew that true love existed.

Aahh…

Nostalgia.

Instead of a crowded movie theater with friends, I’m watching with my eighteen year old daughter. Thinking, reflecting, and remembering young love.
I told her the story of the movie theater when I cried out. No… When I wept. And she laughed at me so hard.

I told her, one day you may be so captivated by something, so caught up on the idea of love that it might bite your little prissy behind in the butt too.

Ha!

Jason’s Lyric. A cult classic in my book.
Do you remember? Please share your thoughts.

As always
Peace and love,
Dee

Today your ears just may overdose on hearing about Love, love, love.
We all need it.
We all want it.
Some of us want marriage, and these days it can seem disheartening and almost non exisistant.

If you are young, single, divorced, or feeling like love will never come your way again, then the  Love Below is for you.

I decided to do a feature on love and marriage as a tribute, and also as a way to fortify those of us who haven’t given up on the idea of love and marriage.

If it wasn’t for these couples, I may have given up a long time ago. I gathered close family and friends and asked a few questions about love, marriage and commitment. I know and love them all, but their answers still struck a cord at my heartstrings. I’m a big ole softy, and love is a big deal to me. Please enjoy the following featured post.

Meet Jerome and Brandy

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How long have you been together.
We met when were ages 12 and 14. We’ve been together for 23 yrs not including a small break up we had for a few years while adjusting to our own indivual growing pains.

How did you know your mate was the one? We’ve always known. I knew Jerome was the one when I asked myself if I could see myself without him my answer was always NO, so from there I knew he was my forever and he feels the same way. We really are best friends.

How do you work through marital issues.
We try not to argue, and we resolve issues by communicating. First off, without proper communication, things will not work. We talk about our issues and come up with a solution.

Today, marriage especially among younger couples is very rare. What’s your formula to a loving, long lasting healthy marriage?  
Again, communication is key. I’ve also learned that I am not in this marriage alone, so I let my husband be a man and by that I mean, I let him take care of his family.

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Jerome and Brandy are a great couple.
I’ve watched these two kids grow into beautiful,  successful adults raising their family and doing it together. My little cousins inspire me!
Their favorite song is The Best of Me by Anthony Hamilton

Meet Brad and Dorothea
How long have you been together.
We’ve been together for Twenty-two years total and married for fifteen.

How did you know you two were meant to be together?
I knew because we couldn’t be with any one else, even when we tried.

How do you work through any marital issues.
We just work. It seems like there is a whole lot to that,  but it’s not.  We just work through it.

Today, marriage especially among younger couples is very rare. What’s your formula to a loving, long lasting healthy marriage? I don’t know the formula. We just try to make each other happy. Brad is really smooth foreal. *she smiles*
He always knows what to do and say.

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Brad and Dorothea are another one of those couples that are young, and have defied the odds by successfully remaining together. They are great parents to my nieces and nephew. They are good together and my brother is probably one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen. And no, I’m not bias just because he’s my brother (well maybe a little bias) but, honestly aren’t they a great looking couple?
Their favorite song is Up Where We Belong by Bee & Cecelia Winans

Meet Tony and Tammy

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How long have you been together.
We’ve been together for twenty years and married for seventeen.
How did you know you were meant to be together?
My husband came into my life when I was running the streets and out of control. He calmed me down so I knew then that he was the one.
How do you work through marital issues?
Communication is the key. Also, marriage is a partnership. Never let anyone into your business.

Today, marriage especially among younger couples is very rare. What’s your formula to a loving, long lasting healthy marriage? If you have something that works, dont change anything because as soon as you put the marriage tag on your relationship then people tend to change, often for the worse and it can mess up the whole relationship.

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These two are the God-parents to my seven year old. They have always filled that role very well and consider her one of their own kids. The marital image that is most needed in family, we have been fortunate enough to see that in them. They have a great marriage and I can always count on a good laugh, a listening ear,  and the honest truth. I am blessed to have them in my life. My daughter is blessed to have them, and they definitely are an inspiration to me. One of my favorite true love couples.
Their favorite song is Spend My Life by Eric Benet’ & Tamia

Meet Marcel and Tamara

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When did the two of you meet and how long have you been together? We met in our early twenties and we’ve been together now for almost 12 years and counting…. *smiles*

How did you know you were meant to be together? Tammy explains, How I knew he was the one for me was I prayed after coming out of an abusive relationship, I prayed and asked God for certain details, character, personality, and his physical appearance, and I did not share these things with anyone except God!! Because I could not afford to submit to another man that God didn’t ordain for me!! Lord that was a mess!!!

How do you work through marital issues. The way we LEARNED to work through our marital issues was by communicating and being honest, even if the truth hurts… And compromising and praying together! Also what we’re even doing now is making sure even our goals line up with God and each other!
What do think is the formula for a successful and happy marriage?
I would have to say the secret to a long lasting and happy relationship is first  knowing that you’re there to last… Come what may… Also key is counseling to help maintain what you have… A lot of young couples today are not taking their vows seriously… “For better or for worst” those Words mean everything!! Trust me when I tell you it has not been peaches and cream always but you have to be willing to keep pushing!! Marriage is not for punks!! Lol. sorry for tht word!! But it’s the truth. Hope this helps someone and we love u lots!!
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Song choice for this couple is Stay with You by John Legend


When I asked My cousin Tamara to do this, she didn’t hesitate and said she was honored. But let me say, it’s an honor for me. These are people that I love, my family and I am so proud of the fact that I can be a voyeur into the life of something good. I’m honored and inspired.

This feature warms my heart. These couples are far from perfect, but they are the real thing. I wanted to write about relationships of young people that went beyond ten years or more. I am happy with what I see here. I get mushy when I read their responses and when I see the love flowing between them all.
Don’t give up on love yall, the ONE is on the horizon.

Happy love day!
Peace and blessings,
Dee

Family is one of life’s greatest blessings.

A household full of unconditional love and nurturing where you share your hurts, joys, laughter and fears.

Members who a share the same values, beliefs and traditions.

A group descending from a common ancestor.

Your support system.

The people who know you best.

Those with whom you make the greatest memories of your life.

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For more months than I care to remember, my life has been one heck of an obstacle course.
Yes, I’ve been absent.
Yes, I’ve been bothered.
Yes, I’ve been woozy, lost, dazed, and ripped up inside.
I’ve watched someone die.
Someone that I love. But more than that, get this,  it was someone that I loved.
She was my everything.
She accepted me.
She loved me.
She loved my children.
She gave herself to me, to us, unconditionally.
She was my grandmother, and I watched and I prayed, and I saw her dying.
A vicious mass 16 centimeters came along, didn’t ask any questions, it just came and positioned it self inside of her and wrecked all of our lives.
Her heart, worn and battered from years on the battle field of life, simply had given up.
She fought.
We tried.
We fought for her.
We fought with her.
We encouraged her.
We loved her.
And.. we lost her.
My life is shattered. In shambles. I don’t think anyone gets that she was the all and the everything.
She was the boom and the bip. The sugar to the Kool aid. She was the main ingredient. She was the rest of the story.
She was gracious and beautiful and full of wisdom and lessons.
She was music. Gospel music. Powerful. Strong. The alto of all Altos.
She was my Jumae.
From the beginning she’s always been there.
Not sometimes.
Not with conditions.
Just there, always.
She protected me. She rescued me. And I wanted to do the same for her.
I was helpless. Although I tried everything I could, it didnt work and so,  I watched.
I watched her slip away. Little by little. Bit by bit, breath by breath. I watched. And it shook every fiber of me.
I watched her grow silent.
I watched her in fear.
I watched her grow angry.
I watched her withdraw.
I watched her transition.
I watched the dying.
And through it all, she was so brave.
My family, we were there. The way she wanted it.
We watched her suffering, but only for a little while. I wanted the pain to stop. I was relieved when it did. Then I felt guilty about feeling relieved. I didn’t want her to go. I wanted her to stay. She was so full of life. But she had to go.
She went from shock, to saddness, to disbelief, to denial, to depression, to hope, to dispair, to faith, to withdrawal, to acceptance, to transition.
I watched her going.
I stroked her arm.
I whispered in her ear. “Thank you for taking care of me, thank you for loving me.”
She looked at me.. she didn’t talk much in the end. Sometimes she mananged to say I love you too. But she was always mumbling bible verses. Encouraging herself. She knew her word. She kept it in her heart. She taught me. I stare in the mirror and I see her eyes, I see her face, I see her spirit in me.
I am everything I am, because of who she was.
I love music.
I am cultured.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I am giving.
I am loving.
I am gifted.
Jumae taught me.
She told us she would be here for thanksgiving, and she was. And after all the chaos of the day. After seeing everyone, and us loving on her, later that night, after almost everyone left, she left too. And she did it as she always did, she did it Julia’s way.
That was her thing to say, “yes, I did it, but I did it Julia’s way.”
She traveled the world, she recorded albums and songs, she sang with some of the best known singers this world has to offer.
She did it all, and she did it her way.
She was remarkable.
The bravest, and strongest woman I know.
I am honored to have known her.
I am in awe of the beauty of every part of her, even to the last minute, even in watching the dying.
I had to let her go.
I loved her, we loved her. But God loved her best.
I will miss her always.
I will honor her always.
And I will be the kind of woman and mother that she taught me to be.
When you see greatness in me, please know, Jumae taught me.
My angel. With the voice of an angel. Is resting with the angels.

Julia Mae Price-WIlliams -Great is Thy Faithfulne…: http://youtu.be/WJkAZuO8aVc

In memory of my loving grandmother Julia Mae Price-Williams 1937-2014
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The book titled ,The Needs of the Dying by David Kessler really helped me see that dying was as much a part of life as living. It helped me put things in perspective.
Excerpt :

The need to be treated as a living human being, the need for hope, the need to express emotions, the need to participate in care, the need for honesty, the need for spirituality, and the need to be free of physical pain.

Peace and love,
Dee

For starters, can I still call myself a single lady if “He” has already asked me to be his lady and I accepted?

I don’t know if I’m clear on that.
I don’t know that I care for clarification since, I’m not all caught up on titles such as girlfriend, boyfriend, my lady, my man and so on.

I’m more into the knowing.

And if you know that you know what you know, the title is irrelevant..

Let me move along before I start rambling.

So yea, you know that rule.

The 90 day one.

Something about not having sexual relations until after the first 90 days because waiting 90 days will give you time to grow your relationship, grant you some morality cool points, and hopefully take your relationship to a more comfortable, stable situation.

Well, I guess I’ve been sort of doing the 90 day rule on steroids.

Nooooo.. I’m not on steroids.

I’ve just taken a different approach to the 90 day rule which in actuality really isn’t so different at all.

This isn’t something I go around broadcasting either, so give me a moment. My closer circle of family and friends know about it. But somehow, it’s kind of hard to say here..
Eh…
Umm..
I’m…
I’m celibate.
There, I said it.
Here is my confession:
I practice celibacy. I’ve been practicing it for years. The number doesn’t matter, just know it’s been a long time. My youngest child is seven years old, so you can venture a guess that it’s sometime between her birth and now. What’s important though is the why.

It is a personal choice and the lifestyle will not suit everyone. It comes with its own set of challenges, doubts, fears, temptations, and all of that is amplified when you are actively in a relationship.
For me, I always wanted that traditional situation. That biblical idea of the virgin, husband/wife and all that. I always wanted it, yet I didn’t know that I wanted it until after I was already an unmarried mother of four.

I alone decided to recommit myself to the idea, and wait until marriage to have that kind of bond with a man again.
Let me give you some background.
I like sex.
I enjoy it.
Alot.
But, I’ve had it before, and a relationship is so much more than sex. My thinking is, that when sex comes into the relationship too soon, things get mixed up and can become quite complicated. Development takes a backseat because its growth has been stunted by lust and desire. As a result of this, we don’t get time to properly grow the relationship because now, an emotional attachment, via sex has shook up the natural order of things.
I wanted more.
I wanted to experience a greater love. An organically grown love.
Based on truth, respect, honor, trust, loyalty and I knew I couldn’t aquire that greater love without a sacrifice. I wanted more than I had previously had.  I began to desire more and I wrote about it, I thought about it, and I prayed about it. What God gave me back is that if I wanted something different, I had to do something different. And so, the journey began.
I’ve often been met with criticism, and believe it or not, it mostly comes from other women. And what do these women say?
1. Oh I couldn’t do that.
2. Why are you depriving yourself.
3. Do you even like sex.
4. No man will ever go for that.
5. You must be crazy.
6. It couldn’t be me.
7. oh, hell no, I Gets mine.
And the list goes on and on… trust me, other women be trying it.
Men aren’t nearly as critical as woman can be with this information, but they immediately turn into huntsman. A few scenarios can take place when you tell a man this for the first time. 
1. Intially, he doesn’t believe you.
2. He doesn’t take the full magnitude of what you’re saying.
3. He thinks you are celibate because you are single.
4. He believes he can slow walk you, change your mind, and conquer you.

Men love a challenge. It’s like a hunt, so now you withholding sex becomes a game. If any man can’t respect this process, then he ain’t the man for me. They will try you, but when you hold out, and stick to your own principles, he is going to do one of two things. Stick around, or leave.
It’s really that simple.

The thing about me is that I am extremely strong and very serious about my principles. It’s basically a covenant between me, and God. I refuse to allow anyone to break that covenant, even myelf. The covenant will come full circle on my wedding day. The man I marry will be the one. The whole of it is for him, and I, and our union. I don’t have time to be dating some guy for three months, giving away my treasure, later realizing we aren’t that compatible at all.
Personally, I’ve always had a pretty strong set of values and I’ve never been into casual sex.
I don’t act on impulse or emotions.
No thanks.
I’m doing it this way.
I know what God told me. I’m real clear on that. 
I’m currently in a relationship, and explaining it to him was a lot easier than a few other men I’ve had this same conversation with over the years. He didn’t automatically understand it, but he did ask a ton of questions and eventually learned it’s importance to me.
I gave him a choice.
Stay or go.
I’m not changing.
He can change his own mind about continuing in this if he wants to.
We are highly attracted to each other in every way, but my principles come first.
The elements of our relationship are the same as any other. It’s fun, it’s giddy, it’s interesting, its intimate, it’s deep, it’s growing. We enjoy each other. We enjoy every aspect of a traditional relationship except, we don’t have sex. That’s it.
I’m doing it this way. We’re doing it this way.
I’m trusting God.
I’m honoring the process.
And anyone who doesn’t get or understand it, that’s really a problem for them.
Me and my dude, we good over here..

Peace and blessings,
Dee

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