Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all of the mommies, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and mothers-to-be! I was very happy to spend most of last week with Southern Mom, but disappointed she left on Thursday. 😦 But I cherished the time that we were able to spend together. I was really proud of myself because not only did I get my mom a few things, I also sent something to my maternal grandmother and my Godmother. I have to admit that today is a little bittersweet for me.

On this day last year, I drove to Hilton Head for my paternal grandmother’s funeral. (That was a long drive, and when I broke down, I called one of my best friends who cheered me up and was able to make me smile.) She passed on May 5, and even though she had been in the hospital, it was still a shock when my cousin called to tell me that she hadn’t made it. I’m thankful I was able to speak with her not long before she died and for the times I spent with her during my first 28 years on this Earth.

If you have a mother or mother figure that’s gone on, don’t focus on the fact that she’s not here; focus on the times you were able to spend with one another. If your mom is still here, take advantage of that and spend as much time with her as you can. And don’t ever take her for granted! I know I’ll always appreciate, love, and cherish Southern Mom! Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

This Week in the News-WOW!!!!

Happy Friday!  This definitely didn’t feel like a 4 day work week.  But I am glad to say that I had an amazing time yesterday! (All work and no play makes Elle a dull girl!)  I was able to hang out with my fellow Rattlers at The Park last night (and ya’ll know I don’t like that place), and then I had a great dinner. 🙂  (If you follow me on Twitter or are a fan on Facebook, you know where I was!)  Now that the fun has been had, let’s get down to business!

First, I must say that I am VERY happy for the White family.  If you don’t know, Carlina White was abducted from Harlem Hospital at just 19 days old.  Her parents had taken her to the hospital due to a fever.  Believing she was giving her baby to a nurse, Joy White, Carlina’s mother, handed the infant over so she could be checked out.   23 years later, mother and father are reunited with their daughter.   Kudos go to Carlina, who discovered that she may be this missing infant.  Technology is an amazing thing!  Now, police and authorities are hunting down Ann Pettway, the woman who raised Carlina as Nejdra Nance.   Ann’s probably somewhere in Mexico by now!!!  But I hope they do find her and figure out what happened in the hospital. 

So, I’m not really sure how I feel about the home state’s new governor.  Nikki Haley, newly-elected governor for the state of South Carolina, gave her first “State of the State” address on Wednesday evening.  One thing I’m happy about is that the Department for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services was moved from a leased space to a government owned facility that was previously empty.  Kudos to Gov. Haley’s administration for making that move and saving the state of South Carolina $700,000 over the next 4 years.  (Mayor Gray and DC could learn a thing or two from this.)  I do have a problem with state funding being cut to the Arts Commission, as an artist and musician myself and having a cousin who is a music teacher in South Carolina.   She’s also proposing that Medicaid HIV/AIDS, cancer, and mental health patients receive generic prescription drugs.  Not really sure how I feel about this since I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist (so if you are, be sure to comment!).  Of course she’s not jumping to accept federal dollars (not sure if I can blame her on that), but she wants to cut education funding and create a new department, the Department of Administration.   I say all this to say, the jury is still out on this one.  But please believe I’ll be keeping an eye on this.  (To read the transcript of the address, go here.)

If you like a good deal, I’m sure you get your daily WTD deal or Groupon e-mails.  Well, since Google is trying to monopolize everything (oops, did I say that???), they are creating a Groupon competitor.  So keep your eyes opened to be see what great deals you can get.  But this can only be good for the consumer, right???

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  Oh, the divisional playoffs; I’m going with the Steelers and Packers.  Yes, I know I should probably go with my honey, but I have to be realistic here.   What are your thoughts on these and other happenings?  And what news was significant this week that I didn’t share?   Enjoy your weekend, and God willing I’ll be back with you on Monday!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

What You’re Supposed to Do

Happy Friday’s Eve!  Today’s post was inspired by two syndicated shows I listened to yesterday but don’t normally listen to on a regular basis.   The first was “The Russ Parr Morning Show”, where they were discussing how to monitor people who are abusing the welfare system, i.e. women who continue to have babies to get a check from the government but aren’t doing anything to better themselves, like going back to school or finding a job.  The next show was “The Michael Baisden Show“, of which I’m not a huge fan.   They were praising fathers who take of their children, some of whom are single parents.   Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? 

Going to the welfare thing first; I’ll just talk about this briefly.  I think the solution is pretty simple.  Put a limit on how long people can be on welfare.    During this limitation period, people need to be making a concerted effort to better themselves.  Educate yourself or get a job.  (And we’re not going to talk about how the welfare system separates families.  How?  By requiring that a male NOT be living in the house.  That’s another post for another day.)   Now, after this limitation period is over, send a social worker to the home to assess the situation. Is the head of the household working on making a better life for her and her children?  If so, continue to help, but lessen the benefits (if the parent is working).  If not, take the children away and cut off the money.  Yes, I know-this is probably wrong on so many levels.  One, we have WAY too many kids in the foster care system right now.   But I’m sure there is a family somewhere that would love to take care of and have children in their home.  You never want the children to suffer.  But being in an unhealthy environment just starts the cycle all over again.  That’s why you have families who have been in the same housing projects for generations, and there’s no move to stop the cycle.  Show the children better.  Encourage them to DO better.  (Yeah, so much for being short.) 

Now, about these men who have children and are taking care of them.  Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but if you have a child aren’t you supposed to take care of them???  Michael Baisden and his sidekick George were praising fathers who go at it alone or who pay child support or visit their children.  Whoop-ti-do!  Case in point- Southern Parents divorced when I was four.  Southern Dad paid child support and visited with me on a regular basis while I was growing up.  He doesn’t deserve a medal.  Why?  Because that’s what you do.  And just because the relationship didn’t work between my mother and him didn’t stop him from being a father.  You may leave the marriage or relationship, but you never leave the children.   Yes, it’s taboo that you hear of single dads or men who take care of their children, but that’s a problem.  It shouldn’t be taboo.  It should be as normal as getting up every morning and brushing your teeth or taking a shower. 

I could really be here all day talking about this, but I know you all have things you want to do today!   But I would like to know what you guys think.  Thoughts on single dads, welfare, or just anything in general relating to this topic; the floor is yours.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Christmas Break

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!  You’re favorite Southern girl is getting ready to travel to be with the family for the holidays and is taking a break! I want you all to be safe (if you’re travelling) and enjoy your family and friends.  Don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season!  Don’t fret, I won’t be gone long; I’ll be back next week with celebration updates and my “2010-Year in Review” posts.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

When One Sibling is the “Popular One”

Luckily (or unluckily if you ask some people), I’m an only child, so I’ll never truly understand the concept of sibling rivalry.  You know, when you compete for the attention of your parents and friends, when you try to outdo your brother or sister and prove that you’re the better one.  Well, what happens when you’re in the public eye and you have to compete with your sibling?  Sometimes it’s a benefit to you both.  (Think Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and Michael and Janet Jackson).  In this new century, we have new sets of siblings where I think the older sibling was the first to make his mark on the world, but then his younger brother or sister came along and outshined him.  The two young stars I’m referring to are JoJo Simmons, son of Rev. Run and Justine and Jaden Smith, son of Will and Jada. 

First, let’s start with JoJo.  If you’re a fan of “Run’s House” like I am, then you are very familiar with the family of Rev. Run and Justine Simmons.  During one season, JoJo and two of his friends created a rap group called Team Blackout.  Unfortunately for the trio, their dreams of becoming the new millenium’s version of Run DMC didn’t come to fruition.  Now, his cutie patootie younger brother Daniel aka Diggy came out with a slamming single…and shot to instant stardom.  Luckily, JoJo has moved to other things-I beleive he currently works for his Uncle Russell at Global Grind-but his dreams of becoming a rap superstar have stalled.  Diggy, on the other hand, was signed to Atlantic Records in August and released his second mixtape “Airborne” in September. 

Next up, Jaden Smith.  Jaden became America’s sweetheart when he first starred with his dad in “The Pursuit of Happyness”.  He shined on the big screen again in “The Karate Kid”.  But a few months later, his younger sister Willow popped up on the music scene with her single “Whip My Hair”.   All women, and probably some men, are whipping their hair back and forth everytime they hear the catchy song (yours truly included).  I think it’s safe to say that Willow has surpassed her older brother on the media scale.   Now Willow is all on our tv screens doing interviews, singing, and being a little socialite globe trotting with her mom, Jada. 

Do you all agree (with my assessment of JoJo/Diggy and Jaden/Willow)? Do you think these siblings have made a bigger mark than their older siblings who came before them?  Or is a little sibling rivalry healthy to bring out the best in people?  Maybe you can help this only child truly understand the concept of having a brother or sister-the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!