Gardening in Stilettos
 
 
 
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Take Action There are many ways you can take action in response to HIV/AIDS:
  • get tested for HIV
  • practice safer methods to prevent HIV
  • decide not to engage in high risk behaviors
  • talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues
  • provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS
  • get involved with or host an event for HIV Vaccine Awareness Day in your community

    Follow the link to  learn more about HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
 
 
 
 
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Looking back at the age of 80, Ms. Horne said:
 
“My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”

In Memory of Lena Horne
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"Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life.  It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop"  ~Dorothy Height
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Social activist Dorothy Height was born in Richmond, Virginia on March 24, 1912. At an early age, she moved with her family to Rankin,  Pennsylvania.  While in high school, Height was awarded a scholarship to New York University for her oratory skills, where she studied and earned her master's degree.

Height began her career working as a caseworker with the New Your City Welfare Department, but at the age of twenty-five, she began her career as a civil rights activist when she joined the National Council of Negro Women. She fought for equal rights for both African Americans and women, and in 1944 she joined the national staff of the YWCA. She remained active with the organization until, 1977 and while there she developed leadership training programs and interracial and ecumenical education programs. In 1957, Height was named president of the National Council of Negro Women, a position she held until 1977. She also served as National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority from 1946 to 1957. She remained active with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority thoughtout her life. While there she developed leadership training programs and interracial and ecumenical education programs. During the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Height organized "Wednesdays in Mississippi," which brought together black and white women from the north and South to create a dialogue of understanding. Leaders of the United States regularly took her counsel, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Height also encouraged President Dwight Eisenhower to desegregate schools and President Lyndon B Johnson to appoint African American women to positions in government.

Height has served on a number of committees, including as a consultant on African affairs to the secretary of state, the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped and the President's Committee on the Status of Women. Her tireless efforts for equal rights have earned her the praise and recognition of numerous organizations, as well. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom From Want Award and the NAACP Springarn Medal. She has also been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 2004, Height was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush
 
 
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Healthy Tidbits

A Lemon Lesson

Lemon Juice is a lo-fat, low-salt, and low-calorie way to perk up soups, stews and salads.

A sprinkling of lemon juice can also keep apples and pears from turning brown adn brighten the flavor of berries and stone fruits

Why We Love EVOO

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is derived from the first pressing of the olives and has the most heart-healthy antioxidants. It also has more flavor and it's extracted without hte use of chemicals.

A Days Worth of Fruit & Veggies

Add bananas, berries or dried fruit to breakfast cereal, slice a juicy melon for dessert, and crunch on an apple for a quick snack and you will probably meet the daily nutritional guidelines of 2 cups.

Source: The Hope Hearts Institute
 
 
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 April is National Humor Month

National Humor Month was founded in 1976 by best-selling humorist Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor. It is designed to heighten public awareness on how the joy and therapeutic value of laughter can improve health, boost morale, increase communication skills and enrich the quality of one's life.

The idea of laughing and the use of humor as a tool to lift ailing spirits is growing. Scientific research now indicates that the curative power of laughter and its ability to relieve debilitating stress and burnout may indeed be one of the great medical discoveries of our times.

So……………SMILE EVERYONE!!

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I had the pleasure of participating in  another wonderful celebration this weekend...40th birthday party for a dear friend.

We danced, we laughed, we simply had fun and most importantly another year of life was celebrated for someone close to my heart!

When I spoke with him the day after I told him you know when you are becoming seasoned professionals in this thing called life when you are no longer celebrating with friends for 21st, 25th, and 30th birthdays...we just shared a laugh and gave thanks for being blessed with life in each passing day!

One of the greatest pleasures in life is sharing it with family/friends and celebrating all the things along the way.

Have a blessed day!!!
 
 
What does it take to sustain those number of years in a marriage. Well one married couple of 50 years summed it up by simply saying "Prayer, Patience, Compromise, Understanding and Commitment.

During the reception of the wedding we did this weekend we asked all the married couples to stand because the bride had a gift for the longest marrried couple. Out of all the weddings I've ever coordinated or attended this one had the most long term married couples in attendance.

As the count down of years began the joy of love filled the room with each couple who was still standing. The greatest number of years achieved was 50 with 3 other couples holding the torch of love and marriage for 47, 43 and 33 years. The youngest married couple besides the newlyweds of the day had 5 years in.

This portion of the reception was such a very touching and simply amazing moment. It warms my heart when you hear the stories of marriages that stood the test of time and continue to strive for a happy and loving marriage.

I haven't made the matrimonial commitment yet in life but when I do, I hope to honor the sanctity with longevity and a life long committed celebration of love and life with my mate.

To all you wonderful married couples out there, continue to love and honor one another....Wishing you many many wonderful blessed years!!!
 
 
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In the many interest that I have and often continue to offer my services to wedding coordinating has always been on the sideline. I have always found great joy in assisting a new bride bring the love and beauty of her day to life through her wedding ceremony.

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of conducting a wedding rehearsal for Tara Jones and Graham Southerland in Baltimore. This lovely couple will be beginning their life as a union on Saturday, April 10 @ 4pm. One of the highlights of this rehearshal was the flower girl. She is simply adorable and so sweet. When explaining to her what she will need to do on Saturday, she stood there looking at me in pure innonence and disapproval of what I was asking her to do. She could not understand that it was okay for her to drop flowers on the floor and in the sanctuary at that. This simply made me smile. In her 5 years of life she has been taught the etiquette for the sanctuary as well as things that she should not do such as throwing things on the floor and leaving them there.  So as I demonstrated what she needed to do she was walking behind me picking up the flowers. As I continued to help her understand her duties, she would look over at her mom as if to say, you need to tell this lady she can not do this. So her mom came over and join in the conversation to give her the comfort that she needed to do what was being asked of her. Explaining that for this special occassion it was okay for her to throw the flowers on the floor in the sanctuary to honor her aunt and help her have a beautiful day. After this conversation she felt better about what she needed to do and practice with great enthusiam.

As rehearsl came to a close I stood back and smiled at those moments spent with the flower girl and how confusing her part of this process was to her. It also made me think about how sometimes the things we are asked to do makes no sense in our normal world but is often needed to be done as a part of a process for something we don't indulge in everyday. It also made me think what other things do we ask kids to do sometimes that confuses them but we ask them to do it without proper explaination to give them the comfort needed.

History of the Flower Girl
Throughtout the changing eras of fasion and even rols of the members of the traditional wedding party, the vision of the flower girl has remained even more consistent to humankind than that of the bride herself.

When brides were very young and stepping themselves from childhood to womanhood through the wedding ceremony, the flower girl leads her forward as a symbol of innocence "blooming" to become a wife and mother. In classical Roman and Greek times, the flower girl would scatter select herbs and grains to beckon fertility in a new union. Sheaths of wheat were carried in the wedding procession by medieval European flower girls.

For many genres, the only female attendants tot he bride were children. This tradition continues often with multiple flower girls in large society or royal weddings. In France, it is common that all attendants in the procession are children.

The flower girl that is now classic to the modern wedding world evolved through the Victorian beauty and sentiment nurtured through Queen Victoria herself. This is the bright young girl in white with perhaps a colored sash; carrying the decorated basket of petals and floral hoop.  The floral hoop, like it's circular relative, the wedding ring, symbolised eternal love.  With Victorian times, humanity begins to value the romantic aspects of marriage.  It is celebrated that marriage not only be econonic or even political union, but also a union of true love. And in love we all walked doe-eyed and innocent like the beautiful flower girl leading the wedding procession.

While fashion and tradition will forever evolve back and forth; the flower girl herself remains a consistent favorite with in the wedding party. She is the sentimental connection between childhood and womanhood; and the whimsical reminder to on-lookers of how magical and brief is innocence and childhood.

Our appreciation for the flower girl grows from pure sentiment: the beauty, innocence, whimsy, and of course how beautiful ist is to have both children and love within the family.