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Friday, February 26, 2016

Easy Weekly Savings Updated

For everyone who has started the easy weekly savings plan, congradulations. Here's the update. We are on week 10. Your Easy Weekly Savings should contain $55.  Here's the breakdown. 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10=55.  Until the next update, Happy savings!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Black History Month and The Other Wes Moore

Although Black History Month is winding down, it doesn't disappear. It is inescapable. I'd like to share a book I had the privilege to listen to. It was read by the author and my first thought was this was not going to be a good experience. I eyed the title and read the summary and came to the conclusion that this was going to be another depressing, oppressive book about Black history. I was wrong. When the audiobook was done, the words depressing and oppressive were far from my thoughts.

Let me first share how I came to meet this book. I am attending an event for a youth group, Young Men With Power and Women With Class. This group has spent months dedicating weekends to preparing themselves for success in life through classes, trips and guest speakers. They have spent time with etiquette, public speaking, interviewing, dressing for success, trips to the White House and bonding trips for fun and much more. These young people who will be our future leaders and community servants will be proudly strutting their stuff at a celebration Gala in March. I was informed the guest speaker was an author. My antennae rose. Wes Moore is the name I was given. I admitted I didn't know him or his work.

In preparation for the Gala, I did a little research on Amazon. I checked out the book and came to the conclusion as stated above. I didn't read any of the reviews. I feel they taint my perspective of a book. I prefer to form my own opinions as I read or listen to a book. After I'm done, I then go back and read a few reviews to view other readers' experiences.

The story of the two Wes Moores is thought provoking and question raising. My first question when I finished was, is this book a mandatory read for middle school students? If it isn't, it should be and not for Black students only. Drugs do not discriminate. They don't care if you are rich, poor or middle class. They don't care what color your skin is or how well known your name is. They tramp through any culture and destroy any life.

The story encourages you to ponder the whys of the outcomes of the two lives. Is it family, sacrifices, determination, selflessness?  Is it the strength of the mother when no father is around? Tough love? When two people travel the same road and reach the junction of life changing decisions, what causes one to decide to take the right wing and the other decide to take the left?

I enjoyed the history glimpses in the book. The background of areas that I recognize such as Cherry Hill and Dundee Village. As I was growing up in Baltimore I was warned never to go to Cherry Hill. The reason given, it's a bad area. So I was in fear of it. While I was in college I gave a ride home to a classmate who lived in Cherry Hill. I drove through the area quickly with my heart pounding, my windows up and doors locked. Then there are the names of people you can identify because you voted for them or saw them on television. People who are part of today's recent history.

I would recommend this book for all young people because life is full of crossroads that will either bless you or damn you. It's better to be armed.

If you're interested in attending the Gala the information is here.

Get information about The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fixing Up My Old Pleasant Company American Girl Doll Kirsten

I have a Pleasant Company American Girl doll Kirsten. She has seen some rough times.

My goal was to detangle her hair, clean her skin and tighten her wobbly legs so she could stand on her own. Her face paint is pale, so I wanted to give her a little color to get rid of the sickly look. It didn't take long to accomplish most of my goals, just a few hours on a lazy Sunday.

I started by washing and conditioning her hair. I didn't buy anything special. I just used my own. Then I used a wig brush and began the massive detangling. I detangled very small sections at a time starting the brushing at the ends of the hair and working my way up to the scalp. I used a water bottle to moisten the hair if it was dry. I didn't want to loose a lot of her hair. I did loose some but not much. Sometimes I switched to a wide tooth comb. I thought this tedious process was going to take a life time, but it didn't. Avoid getting water in her eyes, on her scalp and on her body. Water damages her eyes and causes mold on the scalp and body.

Next I flat ironed her hair while it was wet. The hair must be wet to prevent damage, not dripping wet. I towel dried her hair. The flat iron should be on a low setting. As I drew the flat iron down her locks I heard sizzling and watched as her hair straightened and shined. The sizzling is okay.

The next step was to clean her skin. I was going to use a brillo wipe and erase which I think is suppose to be like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I wasn't sure and I could not take the chance of damaging her skin, so I opted for baking soda and water since she really didn't have any marks on her. I mixed it to a thin, watery solution and rubbed her down. The most important point is not to get water in her eyes. The water will damage them and they will not open and close properly. I looked at my girl. She was pretty clean. Her hair was looking much better, but her face was pale. I was going to have to head out to Walmart and pick up some acrylic paint. Now it was time to tighten her limbs so she could stand alone and hold her arms up.

To do this I had to untie her neck strings and remove her head. Then the un-stuffing of her body began. So much stuffing. I put it all in a bag so I wouldn't lose any. Inside her body I was able to see the joints. At the top of the limb is a white cap and a gold clamp strung on a piece of elastic. Between these two pieces I added an elastic band. This tightens the limbs. Then I re-stuffed her making sure to push the stuffing way down in her butt area. I was able to fit it all in and she was as plump as before. I put her head back on and tied her strings. I tested my work. She stood on her own and held her arms high. I pat myself on the back.



I really needed to do something about her pale face, so I pulled out my bronzer and blush. I put a little bronzer on my finger and rubbed it into the apples of her cheek. Next I used a cotton ball to even out the tone. The bronzer had a shimmer effect. I moistened a cotton ball and wiped her cheeks to remove the shimmer. It still wasn't the color I wanted, so I dabbed a little peach blush on my finger and rubbed it over the apples of her cheeks. Evened out the shade with a cotton ball. The blush acts as a stain on the cheeks.

Now it was time to give her a hair do and an outfit from the doll trunk.

I was pleased with my work, so off to Walmart I went to get the paint. I mixed the red and white, but it was not the shade I needed. I want more of a flesh tone. I have to tackle her lips another day.

                       See you next time!

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Easy Weekly Savings Plan

Are you on point with the weekly savings plan to end the year with at least $1,378.00? Doing this each year can help to build a healthy savings plan, a summer spending account, vacation money, investment money or whatever money. We are approaching the end of week five. You should have $10 dollars added to this account already for weeks 1-4. This week you should be adding $5 for a total of $15. It may seem insignificant now, but at the end of the year you'll be happy with the extra $1,378. So, here is how it lays out- week1-$1+week2-$2-week3-$3+week4-$4+$10. Well you get the picture.

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