Monday, July 18, 2011

Nelson Mandela Day

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) was the anchoring site for Nelson Madela International Day.

BCRI is located across the street from the historic 16th Street Baptist Church . Diagonal to the church is Kelly Ingram Park where most of the festivities were held.There was free admission to BCRI from noon till 6pm.

I arrived early around 2 pm so many of the vendors and acts of entertainment had not arrived.

Schedule of Events included:

Sharrif Simmons-Poet

Umdabu Dance Company

John Paul Taylor(Real Life Poets) & B'ham's Finest Young Poets

Neo Jazz Collective

Music of the Movement

Remarks from visiting diplomats & local officials

International Legacy Youth Leadership Project

Presentation by students from Johannesburg & Birmingham

Mandela Day was held from noon until 8 pm, July 18th. This also happens to be Mr. Madela's birthday.

A Buffalo Soldiers exhibit sponsored by the Alabama Chapter #1 of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Association was on hand.

This chapter is comprised of volunteers who wish to keep the history of the Buffalo Soldiers alive.

"The Cheyenne called the Black Soldiers, 'Ta Tanga' for buffalo. The soldiers' curly hair, dark skin and fierce fighting style reminded the Native Americans of their sacred animal of the Plains."

Trooper Issac L. Prentice, dressed in the full uniform of the Buffalo Soldier, stands in front of a Conestoga wagon. Trooper Prentice is the Founding Chapter President.Various vendors were on hand with their wares.


"HICA (Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama) is a nonprofit organization that offers bilingual and culturally appropriate services to improve the lives of Hispanic families in Alabama through economic, social and civic integration."
SmokeFree Alabama is part of the Champions for Health campaign.

This is the booth where I got a FREE t-shirt, ink pen, pill box , chapstick and mints. In order to get a free T-shirt signing up to be smokefree was the ticket. That was easy since I don't smoke.

What's a festival without a band? Since the banner says noon till 1 pm, I guess I missed them. In place of a live band there was blaring music, none of which I was familiar with.
*There were three moonwalks.Pictured here are two of the three.

The purpose of Mandela Day

Mandela Day is an annual international day adopted by the United Nations.
More than a celebration of the life of the former South African President Nelson
Mandela (b. July 18, 1919), it is a global movement to take his life's work into
a new century and change our world for the better. Mandela Day asks that we
embrace Mandela's values and honor his legacy through an act of kindness.
It's a day for us to roll up our sleeves and play active roles in building our
community- an opportunity for us to share Mandela's vision of a better future
for all.

I would have enjoyed seeing the other acts but it's
summer and very hot. I live a long distance from Kelly Ingram
Park and would not be returning so I only got a taste of the


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Based On A True Story

I checked out five movies from the public library. Three of them were based on a true story or actual events. I had no idea of that when I selected them.

Pictured are the three movies based on a true story.


In Scenes of the Crime a young man who acts as a driver for members of organized crime finds himself in the middle of deadly mob negotiations. Not being a part of the crime world he is inexperienced in how to negotiate his freedom. He doesn't know which crime boss to trust. To buy time he continues to hold the chief crime boss hostage in the same van he was hired to drive.

The last few minutes of this movie offers a surprise. Also, don't turn it off until the credits begin to run.More surprises there.

The second movie was The Night Listener. Gabriel Noone is a well known writer and radio talk show host with a soft heart. He often reads passages from his writings and others on his show.

His publisher Ashe gives him a book submitted to him by Donna Logand, a social worker. Donna rescued 14 year old Pete from his abusive parents who would blindfold him, take him to the basement of the home and sexually abuse him and allow their friends to do the same. Donna rescues Pete from this living hell and adopts him as her own. Seized by the raw events he has read Gabriel wants to meet Pete and Donna. When Gabriel calls, Pete answers the phone and they have a conversation about the book and Pete's fondness of Gabriel's show. During their conversation Pete suddenly erupts into fits of harsh coughing. Donna takes the phone and tells Gabriel that Pete needs to rest. She later calls Gabriel and reveals to him that Pete contracted AIDS during his abuse and has only a short time to live. As a sort of psychological therapy she encouraged Pete to write about his experience. From those writings comes the manuscript Gabriel has. Donna tells Gabriel that if he feels the book will help others, to publish it. She further divulges that Pete's father is incarcerated but his mother is still at large.

Gabriel asks to meet Pete. Donna welcomes his request since Pete is such a fan of Gabriel's show.

That's when things get really eerie.

The last movie was American Violet. Dee Roberts is a 23 year old single mother of four girls. She lives in Arlington Park apartments. Her mother Alma Roberts lives just across the way in her own apartment in the same complex. Dee earns her living as a waitress and has aspirations of owning her own cosmetology school. Dee sends the children over to her mother's before she leaves for work.

What starts out as an ordinary day turns into anything but. While Dee is at work a drug task force rolls up to Arlington Park hidden inside moving vans. The task force descends onto the inhabitants with violence. Males and females are beaten, handcuffed and taken to jail.

Three officers go to Dee's place of employment and arrest her. She thinks it is for unpaid parking tickets. She is put into a cell with three of her neighbors. Dee finds out in court that she has been accused of drug sales of which she is innocent.

She is assigned a young, public defender who could care less about her innocence. He tells her to take a plea bargain but she refuses because she knows she is innocent. Those who take the plea bargain can expect about ten years in prison but will forever have a criminal record. Those who want to fight it and lose can get 25 to 30 years in prison.Time reveals that in Melody, Texas , the DA, Calvin Beckett order these raids from time to time to rid the area of the "bad element."

Hearing about Dee's refusal to plea bargain, a group of out-of-state attorneys who have heard of the plea bargain stings approach Dee to ask her if she will work with them as a witness to discontinue the racially motivated actions of the DA and his cronies.

These last two movies I enjoyed most. The Night Listener was the one I walked away from with my mouth agape.

THAT'S IT*** Ps. The other two movies were, "All Around the Town" and "Blindness."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blogging Blitz #7

This is the last day of the blogging blitz. If you read yesterday's post you know that I have nothing to post. I am only fulfilling the promise I made to myself.

TEN THINGS I DID TODAY or thereabout

I got the "Ten Things" idea from Adrienne's blog at Real Life: Live & Unscripted.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"

1. Woke up and got up. Performed my usual morning routine.

2. Listened to the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

They're on vacation right now. They take more vacations than any other radio show that I know of.

3. Began to wash, cut and season yellow squash in spears to bake in the oven.

4. Received a call from my neighbor asking if I wanted to use the remainder of the bug spray she uses around her house. We mostly have small spiders.

5. Neighbor came up with spray and we ended up talking for over an hour.

In the 1950's this would have included sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee.

I had no coffee or anything else. I had an enjoyable time with her.

6. Neighbor left and I sprayed the bug killer around the house and in the garage.

7. Ate lunch at home. Had baked squash, Italian beans with new potatoes and a fake ribbett (the same kind as in the McRib sandwich) It is actually boneless pork shaped like a rib.

8. Went to Target and bought a clear shower curtain liner and a pound of coconut macaroon coffee. I've never had that flavor before.

9. Stopped at Starbucks and had a frappuccino.

Stopped off at Walgreen's and bought a can of mixed nuts. (How appropriate is that?)

10. Apparently the Starbucks frappuccino had real cream in the whipping. When I got home lactose intolerance set in.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blogging Blitz #6 & One more day to go

Finally, an aha moment. I don't blog everyday because there isn't anything I want to share EVERYDAY! After the Blogging Blitz, I will go back to blogging at will.

Who says I have to live up to the expectations of others?
Who says I must measure up to other bloggers?

I don't need to have a Shelfari! (Although I'd like to)
I don't need a clock! (Although I'd like to)
I don't need a slideshow! (Although I'd like to)
I don't need music!

Okay! Enough with the pontificating!

Since I saddled myself with this Blogging Blitz, I'm determined to see it through.

I had a Granny Smith apple in the fridge and didn't want it to go bad so I made myself an apple betty. I used croutons for the bread crumbs and butter flavored Crisco for the butter. (No way was I going to the market).
BTW, did I tell you I detest grocery shopping?

The thing I did today that took up most of my time but was the most gratifying was cleaning out the garage. I didn't really throw much away but I did use my shop vac to vacuum the floor and walls. The shop vac is a wonderful invention.

It was fun sucking up those skinny-legged spiders as they tried to escape.
And for you PETA people who think that's cruel, if you don't contribute at this address you are dispensable.

I felt that I had made a huge accomplishment because this was something that kept being pushed to the back burner.

While I was out there I did some industrial strength gluing.
When I tried to do my Detroit post and Blogger kept PMSing, I didn't get to tell you that my luggage was lost. By the time I got it back the little thingy that allows the rolling luggage to stand at attention was broken. So I have glued that back in place. It may or may not hold up. If not I'll just lean it somewhere.

I also glued some cracks in the carpet shampooer that the family shares. I had too much in my arms one day, dropped the contents onto the shampooer causing it to hit the concrete floor in the garage. It's an Electrolux made of a hard plastic and is about 20 years old.

I don't need my day to get any more excited than this. Yet, I'm proud of myself for accomplishing even this.

So one more day of blitzing and then I'll be back to my same old habits.

That's IT***

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blogging Blitz #5

Who Talks About Laundry on a day set aside for freedom? I do. I enjoy sorting laundry, pretreating and placing it in the washing machine. In a time past I would hang my laundry on a clothesline and watch it flap in the breeze. I would sniff the fresh odor like a crack addict once the dried laundry was taken inside.

Fast forward to 2011. I no longer have a backyard and outdoor laundry is frowned upon in this community. I know for a fact that some of the folks around here with wooden fences have ventured to put in a clothesline as long as it can't be seen from the street.

Since my back strip (not backyard) is pretty secluded I have often used my folding wooden dryer to dry laundry outside.

Winn Dixie was offering a special on laundry items . With it there was a free sample of Purex 3-in-1. This is a laundry sheet that washes and softens in the machine It also has an anti static strip for the dryer.

I had items from winter that I wanted to pack and store so I decided to use the 3-in-1 product.

The instructions were to run the water in the washer, drop in the laundry sheet AWAY from the water flow, then load the laundry and let it wash.

After all cycles are complete toss the laundry and the laundry sheet in the dryer where the anti static strip performs its duty.

I can't really tell you how well the product performed because most of the clothes were dark clothes and I dried them on my wooden dryer and let the outdoor 95 degree heat on my back strip dry them. Why heat up the dryer when you can dry them for free.
The light blue line is the anti static treatment.

I plan to use this sheet again in the dryer only after I do my next load of laundry with my regular detergent.

Let me be clear (as the President says)

  • Ironing is not necessarily a part I enjoy. I will snatch an article out of the dryer as soon as a cycle is completed so it won't get wrinkled. I don't apologize for that. I have been known to dampen an article of clothing and put it back in the dryer if I missed the finishing point and it has wrinkles. SIDEBAR: I miss the gas Maytag dryer I had at the other residence. When the clothes finished drying they stayed warm for a good amount of time. No need to run a marathon to get to them before they cooled.

  • I enjoy doing laundry in the present. I would not have enjoyed doing washing in a cast iron wash pot ,sitting on a bed of fire in the backyard, stirring clothes with a stick and washing with lye soap. Oh yeah, and in the summer or winter either for that matter.

I enjoy doing laundry so much that I plan to attend the Alabama Folk School in November so that I can learn to make laundry soap and goats milk soap.

That's It***

Saturday, July 2, 2011

blogging blitz #3

This is a meaningless post that I've surrendered to BLOGGER
Visited  Detroit, Michigan a couple of weeks ago to visit a relative who'd been ill.
Since blogger continues to sabotage my posts, I won't bother to elaborate here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Going Green

I said I wasn’t going to but I had to see something green and growing. Something green and moldy wouldn’t do. I took out my pots and planted herbs and an experimental potato.

The sage was planted before all of the rest. Apparently there’s something I’m not doing that’s causing this dwarfed growth.

This same rosemary plant has been with me for almost three years. It winters over very well.

I chose to try lavender this year. There was a recipe for lavender lemonade. There have to be blossoms to steep before it can be made into lemonade. As you can see, I have no blossoms.

What I do have is a bounty of mint. I’m not that fond of it but I like seeing it grow. Now what do I do with it? This plant flourishes and needs to be contained or else it will take over like kudzu.

I pulled one of the eyes, no larger than an M&M, off of a potato I had and planted it. I guess I’ll see what happens by September.

Basil is once again plentiful. Here you see it after I made the big chop. This is another plant that multiplies like crazy.
I’d seasoned baked chicken in foil with a large quantity of basil once. The chicken was good but so was the basil. The chicken juices had flavored it so well, I ate cooked basil as my green veggie. Maybe someone has already done this but, I decided that when I next had an abundance of basil I would cook it like spinach and see how it tasted. That day was today.

Cooked BasilIngredients:* Approximately 3 ½ cups washed basil leaves (Yields about one cup cooked greens )
* ¾ cup water
* 1 chicken or vegetable flavored bouillion cube
I had photos for 2,3,4 but blogger keeps %&(*_) up my upload.
1. Pick leaves off of stems. Discard blossoms and stems. (blossoms  are bitter)2.Wash the leaves in cool water and drain.
3. Place the leaves in a cooking utensil. Add one bouillion cube and 3/4 cup of water.
4. Cook at a medium heat until the leaves are tender the consistency of cooked spinach.
blogging blitz #2
***That's It