Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Now Moment

Give yourself fully to the adventure of today
(Sarah Young)


1 day = 24 hours = 1440 minutes = 83400 seconds
1 year = 365 days = 8760 hours = 525600 minutes = 3153600 seconds

More times than I can count, I have suffered the blows of everyday life. At the end of many of those days, after spending time worrying, all it gained me was time spent unacknowledged. It’s been my experience where I spent time being over-dramatic over falling during my exodus from my youth and saw my fall as a fatality, with my own blood on the ground, instead of seeing the bright side of the pit stops I made falling forward into new opportunities and successes with the new repertoire of knowledge and skills I gained from falling.


We don’t receive wisdom;
we must discover it for ourselves
after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us
(Marcel Proust).



Over the course of my life, I have had memories of both good and bad reverberate across the decades of my life. But the bad seem to linger forever.


If you have lived 35 years, you have seen
12775 days = 306600 hours = 18396000 minutes = 1103760000 seconds.

Make sure those billions of seconds of life include hope in possibilities, a mustard seed of faith, forgiveness for your past experiences, hurdling over rejection and climbing mountains, moments of pure joy, self-love, familial, neighborly and agape love, seeing and knowing with your own eyes and senses more than just your back and front yard, floating with interest into the day full of new mercies to pursue without running away from truly living it, aroused trust in your abilities, knowing that you are so very, loved and blessed and, with a reason to smile.

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart
(Psalm 91:4)


The Bible says that God loves is more plentiful than all the grains of sand on the earth combined. One cup of sand has seven billion grains of sand in it. Do you know how tremendous that really is? 

It means that you, the wonderfully, fearfully made is nothing short of extravagant. It means that if you think you have no one on your side, you always have someone in those 525600 minutes, roaring support. Don’t let one day pass by without truly entertaining the joys of the gift of the new set of 24. Be fully present in the moment and enjoy it as much as you were uniquely created to. 

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Clumsillinia Needs a Remedy




The phrase goes something like this: "talk to the hand 
because the face ain’t listening." 

The saying is true for me today. 
My hand is in need of a really great conversation. 

Why?



I went from soft, inexperienced hand in 2016 to
- Sliced in half while peeling squash
- Deeply Stabbed with a box cutter 
while I was cutting boxes for recycling
-carpel tunnel because I still use a pen and paper to write epics
and lately I have been trying to play the piano more often and I have smaller hands than Gary Coleman.


and then the worst...



- I took a pot out of the oven, and just a few seconds later 
and without even realizing or considering 
how hot the metal would really be, 
I wrapped my hand around its metal handle 
and my hand fried in pain for the rest of the day. 

Is my hand trying to tell me something? I can't afford to hurt it anymore. Maybe my nickname is Clumsillinia and I didn't know it until today. Do I need to practice Ambidextronomy. That is a word; I made it up! It is in the new lexicon, 
The JNote Dictionary: the 2017 edition


So my question is...


Is butter an old wives tale or the real deal? What about vaseline; would it do the same trick? What is a great remedy to prevent all the skin on my hand that was severely burned from peeling?  My writing hand. My typing hand. My right hand hand. 

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cold Turkey

The gleam in my eyes sparkled as I saw an opportunity to bum a loosey off the oncoming smoker. I had this passionate love with Newports and I was not going to let another smoker pass by without giving me one. I had been gripped to the affair with cigarettes from high school and from then it turned into a pack and a half a day romance.


Do you know how many cigarettes that really is? Each pack has 20 in it which means, it took 30 cigarettes to satiate my craving. Thank God it was back then when packs were about $2.25. Whew! 

I started becoming aware that I loved it more than I should, noticing that I needed one every 45 minutes. I strategically planned each break by the cigarette that could satisfy my craving. 

It had this endearing trait, I thought, and it continued to wrap my attention as would a great book. Was it a deep character flaw of mine or was it just one of those things that pasted a smile on my face that made smoking become a part of my daily grind?

Family and friends tried to compel me to think differently about cigarettes, telling me that it was not the thing for me. I was living in a social landscape where I felt as if everyone was against me and my relationship with the stogie. Then I started feeling as if I had to hide our alone time just so I could be around others without them judging me, though the pungent aroma told a different story that I couldn’t lie about. That was when the nuance of emotions that had me clinging to Newports started to loosen its hold on me.

Though I struggled with many attempts to let it go, I just decided I did not want to do it anymore, put the cigarettes down and never went back to it. I think the easiest way to give up something you want to eliminate out of your life is to do it cold turkey. Now when I get around someone who is smoking, over ten years later since I had me last smoke, the aroma of the cigarette turns my stomach.

If you are like me, maybe you struggle with climbing mountains to make that change from smoker to non-smoker; here are some ideas that might help to to contain the urge:

1. Whenever you feel tempted for a stogie which for me was every 45 minutes, have a piece of chewing gum, candy or a snack instead.

2. If you are stressed out at your desk and your relief tends to be a smoke, why not use the time to engage in a conversation with someone in-person or on the phone. Take a walk with you friend if you are used to moving away from your desk since that has been your routine.

3. Don’t focus on the hope of the next cigarette break. Instead, engage in an audio book and focus your mind on that. Might help you to forget if you are listening to something biographical, action-packed or romantic.

Some other things I quit cold turkey are

Alcohol Drinking . . . (I Was Once an alcoholic)
Doubting in my Singing and Songwriting Ability
Believing what Naysayers Think
Allowing Church Folks to Drive Me Away From Church

How about you? Care to share? What had its grip on you that you eliminated out of your life and are thankful for? I tell you; the list-making of things like this, only increases self-love and awareness of how much of a powerful individual you really are. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

For the Love of Ornette

Interested in hearing some beautiful sounds of jazz? 


Check out  bassist, Jamaaleadeen Tacuma's 

"For the Love of Ornette." 



It is an album of jazz where you can hear nine tunes dedicated to the legendary jazz saxophonist; many of the selections which feature saxophonist Ornette Coleman himself. Also, you can hear New York's own, composer and pianist, Yoichi Uzeki doing his piano magic on this fantastic recording.


Get your copy at Amazon.com here: For the Love of Ornette

Speaking of Yoichi . . . 


By the way, if you missed the wonderful interview between program producer and radio show hos Stephanie Jeannot and Yoichi Uzeki, please feel free to listen to the entire program which has been posted onto Soundcloud. 



It was an awesome hour of cool vibes, music and powerful discussion worth listening to. You can check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/stephanay-jnote/jazz-on-the-jnote-yoichi-uzeki-hour


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Enjoy Life by Stephanie Jeannot & Mike LeShore

New Music by independent recording artist, 

Stephanie Jeannot from NYC entitled "Enjoy Life."































Lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot and music by Mike LeShore.

Promo art by Melodiaz Creations/ 

Check out song here: https://youtu.be/qPCvcQLGd2o



For more information about this artist, visit her website at http://www.jnotemusic.com

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Favorite Way to Cool Off from the Summer Heat

In the heat of the day, when the sun is the warmest, I like to interrupt the train of sweat surging from my pores with the raging waters of the ocean. I enjoy shaking off the catatonic heat of hot summer days on the beach.


So I travel during these times when the rays of the beaming sun starts to drain my power, and try to remain grateful for the warm weather I asked for, though I complain a little bit because I start feeling hotter than a broiling beef rib. Instead, I exploit the momentum of the season where sand faces refreshing waters that I can swim in. Hot and humid days offer this opportunity and what a great one to revel in.

Through the hustle and bustle of New York city traffic I race desperately in pursuit of being tossed back and forth by the waves of the sea as it spirals out of control in its tide.  I feel this deep satisfaction after I park my car and walk on to the boardwalk and see this beautiful view of nature, not fashioned by human hands. 




There’s no treading lightly on the sand because it is so hot I want to run for relief for my feet. I am usually successful at finding a spot to set up my little claimed territory on the sand and suddenly, I am laying there on my beach blanket reading the works of Pliny while listening to Miles Davis Bitch the jazz Brew on his trumpet.

Next move is to feel God’s water on my body. What a great way to shake off the heat that has taken over it! Just putting my feet in the water makes an indelible impact on me. I always have this grand illusion that the water should be warm because of the piping hot weather but, what a wonderful problem to have.

The water is my antidote to the poisonous humidity. I steep in it like a cinnamon apple spice tea bag and am refreshed. The waters fit snuggly into my taste buds. People all around me with the same idea are all having a wonderful time. Throwing myself into the pull of the water suddenly mends everything because once I come out, the heat seems irrelevant and the sand, no longer so hot that I have to run through it with my sandals to avoid its hot temper. I can embark on its stretch shoeless.

When I go to the beach, no longer am I parched for a relief from the summer heat. Sure it is a fleeting pleasure but I must say, jumping in to the waters of any ocean is my favorite way to stay cool.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Writers Reads worth the share

I remember when my teacher used to send us home in the summertime with an assignment to read ten books before we returned to school. 

    (From Mamakat writing prompt email

Imagine being a kid and all you want to do is play outside but instead, you are forced to stop all the fun and games to read. I didn't like it much back then, but now, I think I have read 20 already this summer.

My favorites so far are:

"This is How You Lose Her" 
by Junot Diaz
"God Help the Child" 
by Toni Morrison
"Drown" 
by Junot Diaz
"I Would Die For You"
By Toure

My love for reading actually grew this year while researching to write my college thesis. But thank God for a passion that actually is good for me and for wonderful thoughts and memories to share.