To Halloween or Not to Halloween?

Yes Covid is still here and many safe Trick or Treating options have risen.

But this post isn’t about how ‘Rona ruined this holiday as well. This is about tradition in the sense of “celebration”.

Most of us know the history of how “Halloween” came about in the US, so I’m not going to tell that story either.

But the me begin..

I grew up in a black Baptist household. We went to church on Sunday for worship and stay there most of the day. Then there was Bible study and choir practice on Wednesday nights. You get my drift of how much church was in my life as a kid, right?

So therefore Halloween, was not a “celebration” in my household. Birthday’s, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas were “celebrations”. Honestly not really Thanksgiving because for black families, it’s just another excuse to get together and eat and tell what we are thankful for. Also as an adult finding out what really went down with the pilgrims and the indians, as to why Thanksgiving is a thing well….let’s not go there today.

Back to my household… my mother let me dress up for Halloween. But it couldn’t be anything scary or demonic. All I can remember was that I was Angel one year and for nearly the rest of elementary a pumpkin. Costumes were for the school parties and for what we had here in Kansas City during the 90’s called “Trick or Treat Village” at Ward Parkway Shopping Center. It was literally a built spooky village that was built in a mall, where you could come trick or treat safely and get a bunch of candy.

Between “Trick or Treat Village” and the yearly Halloween party for our class. I was good with candy for awhile. That was it, that was my Halloween and I was happy.

I think one year, my Dad took me around our neighborhood to trick or treat. I just remember it being really cold and dark. I can’t stand the cold.

I don’t want to say my parents didn’t believe in celebrating Halloween, but other than my dad and his yearly bag of candy corn that was it.

As an adult, I just really like to stay in and eat junk and watch scary movies. For our son, the trunk or treat events were perfect…you get in line, show off your costume, collect some candy and you’re done. Perfect!

Now fast forward to 2009…I got married to man that has a sister, who’s birthday is on October 31st. (My husband was born October 13th and his sister October 31. Kinda odd, huh?)

I’m sure I had prior knowledge of this before we got married, but it didn’t register that Halloween we would be babysitters so his sister could go out with her friends.

So in my husband’s household, Halloween has always been a BIG thing. A “celebration” because it was a birthday. They used go to haunted houses together, go to the rich folk neighborhood and trick or treat, stay up and watch scary movies all of that.

So naturally I think we had been married at this point 2 or 3 years. I was feeling adventurous and wanted to appease my spouse so I went into the cold to Trick or Treat, with my husband, Mother-In-Law and Nephew. (Now that I think about it my sister-in-law wasn’t even with us…that’s a whole other story)

Bad decision!

Not only was this a night that the Chiefs were playing, nobody had their porch light on. We went to some neighborhood that had a loooooong block. I for one was freezing and tired of walking. Not only was it that my Mother-In-Law didn’t want to just hit a few houses, but nearly the whole block for her 3 year old grandson!

As a young married couple honestly “family” stuff is the only thing we’ve ever clashed on. I may write a post later on how we came to compromise on a bunch of stuff over the last 14 years later next month.

Do you see how this can become an issue?

We kinda grew up polar opposites when it came to Halloween.

What do you guys do for Halloween? Does your family have any standing traditions? Were you born on Halloween? Do you know anyone else born on Halloween? Or do you “celebrate it at all”?

Let me know in the comment section…

Until next time…


Born In The 80’s raised in the 90’s

Truly because of all of the horrible things that have occured in 2020, I just wanted to reminisce on a more innocent and happier time in life.

I forgot how my husband and I got on this subject the other day, but it was so interesting to compare and contrast the times we are currently living in versus when we were growing up in the 90’s.

Both my husband and myself were born a approximately a year apart in the 80’s.

Growing up in the 90’s in South Kansas City, Missouri wasn’t bad.

We both shared fond memories of going to places that were torn down or made into something else. I lived about 10 minutes away from school. McDonald’s after school was a treat. My Dad spoiled me by getting me snacks though, every time he went to the gas station up the hill from where we lived to get cigarettes. I loved Push-Pops, Cheetos and Dr. Pepper.

As a single child, I grew up in a two parent home. I felt safe. We lived in a fairly good sized 2 bedroom apartment. On the weekends, I spent a lot of time on 62nd & Elmwood, my grandmothers house. My grandparents just happened to live next door to grandfather’s sister.

My Great-Aunt and Uncle had a slew of grandchildren. Detrick and Raymond were about my age so we played together the most. They were way rougher than I, naturally because they were boys. They liked blowing up Ninja Turtles and He-Man figures, sticking fireworks in pop cans and bad-ass stuff like that. We played tag alot, but when they started doing bad stuff I just jumped the fence and went back to my Grandma’s next door.

My grandparents had a large backyard with two gardens, were my grandma grew grapes, squash, cabbage, green beans. I also had my own playset and a separate swing set which made up for not having my own backyard at home.

When I was with my grandparents, we almost always made a trip to the Mall. Bannister Mall was the place to go in the 80’s and 90’s in South Kansas City. Sometimes we ventured 20 minutes away to the now closed as well, Metcalf South Mall in Overland Park, Kansas.

I don’t live in the immediate area anymore, but do have to come to this side of town often to the doctors and for other things. It’s weird to see the area cleared out where a place you frequented is just a field now, with a fancy glass building in the middle of it (i.e. Cerner). So speaking of growing up in the 90’s, I thought I’d share some of the things we experience that now, as a parent now in 2020 are not ok LOL.

Here’s a few memories from childhood that you can’t do anymore or wouldn’t want to…

  1. We got left in the car– While our parents ran in Wal-Mart or K-Mart to shop. We played the radio way to loud, got in the drivers and pretended we were driving and stared at the people who passed the car who stared at us
  2. Ride bikes all around town-My husband used to ride his bike from almost the other side of town off 79th all the way to my neighborhood on 99th street (Mews Drive) which is now 97th no problems
  3. Your mom could come up to the school anytime– She observe your class or eat lunch with you no problem. Now you have to be buzzed into a school, Id’d but because of covid of course now none of this is allowed.
  4. Be left alone at home– As long as you were safe inside, your parents may have told you not to open the door or go outside for anyone or anything
  5. We could go to the toy section of the store– While our parents went and shopped, we browse and played with the toys and then realized we probably should go find them. Which then resulted us looking for our parents in the store….I had my mom paged many a time!

There’s so many more, I could go on and on.

What was your experience growing up?

Until next time…

5 Reasons I Empathized with Chadwick

It shocked the world (and me) when just a little bit over 2 weeks ago, we found out that actor Chadwick Boseman had passed on due to Colon cancer.

It made headlines also because seemingly nobody knew, but his closest family and friends. No one leaked it to the media while he was alive.

The fact that he was so young and talented and that his light was dimmed so early, really hit me in the heart. I empathize with him with the weight loss. I was sad that many online earlier in the year, as recent photos had surfaced people made light of how thin he had become. I personally just thought it was for a role he was playing. Now looking back, you could see that his illness was taking toll on his body. Last fall I became ill 3 times and dropped down to 78lbs. Now I’ve

I have never had Cancer myself (praise the Lord), but have know others that have. I imagine it is a similar beast, but I know it’s not the same.

But today I would just like to talk about how in awe I am that despite Mr. Boseman’s diagnosis, he still worked and was seemingly active.

If you have read my blogs, you know that I have Chronic Kidney Disease and was diagnosed about 4 years ago. Currently, I am in Stage 5, which is classified as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). I am currently on what is called Peritoneal Dialysis at 35 years old. I am just now gaining enough weight to get officially listed on the Kidney Transplant list. But enough about that.

Here are 5 ways that I empathize with Chadwick may have been going through during his fight:

  • The appointments– I have a doctor appointment every month and lab appointment every month….it really is a drag to schedule these things around your other things you have going on but you have to. This may not seem bad, but it’s difficult when you have a husband who works a ton, a kid in virtual school now and you’re running too businesses from home.
  • Treatments- Thankfully, I get to do my dialysis at home. Every night though, I have to hook up to my dialyzer for 10 hours a night. This causes me to be very cautious of my time in the evening. Making sure I set my machine up, take a shower and be in bed on time so I can get up for work and help my son get ready for school. Dialysis has helped me feel better, but has changed my body a bit (How Dialysis has changed my body, I’ll save this for another post).
  • Somedays you just don’t have the energy– Although if you have a chronic illness and you are likely receiving life saving treatments and/or on medication (usually ALOT of medication) that are supposed to help you, sometimes the treatments or the meds do quite the opposite. Most of us used to pop up and jump out the bed, now we have to sit there and wait for our bodies to catch up to our minds. It’s hard because we have stuff to do! A life, kids, husbands, wives to tend to. None of us asked for this, but yet we have to push on.
  • Attention– Being “sick” does require support. But it’s difficult. Personally when I have a medical issue, I just want my closest relatives to know. When I was in the hospital while pregnant with my son for 3 months, I didn’t want too many visitors. I like for folks to visit, send cards and what not, but I do not require people to sit with me for prolonged periods of time. I admire that Chadwick’s family and friends didn’t reveal to the press what was going on with him. I think some people (such as myself) don’t like to make a big deal about themselves.
  • It’s such a mental battle, as well as physical– I think the mental part can the real challenge. Questions like, “why me”, “how’d I get this”, “Lord, did I do something to deserve this?”, “what about my family” are all things that pop into your head. I always say “I’m a young person, with old people’s problems”. I never expected to be notified that I had a life threatening disease at 32. I mean I thought only “old” people have kidney failure. It’s a daily fight to keep negative thoughts out of your mind.

Everyone’s battle is different though.

I hope for my readers I gave you some slight insight to what people with chronic illness are dealing with.

Everyday is a fight.

We may look ok on the outside, but really the sad fact is often were not. Sometimes we might not want to share that, like Chadwick Boseman chose not to and for me that is just fine.

Until next time…

Season 3 of “The Chi” = FAIL

WARNING: Major spoiler alerts ahead…If you have not watched the show. You may not want to read this!

There are few shows that I follow along with every season. There’s a little show on Showtime called “The Chi” that came out in 2018. It has been one that I started watching from the very beginning. This past Sunday was the season finale of Season 3.

I read an article about Lena Waithe, the shows creator, in a magazine some years ago and was inspired by her story as a writer. I was excited to watch the show.

In the beginning, I enjoyed the feel of the show, it was nice to see some fresh and unfamiliar faces. I liked how it was written. The characters story lines seemed to all of it fit together like a puzzle.

However, at the end of Season 2, it was announced that two of the characters in the story line wouldn’t be coming back due a sexual harassment scandal. I did wonder where was the story going from there without these characters? Then I found out that a 3rd character, Reg played by (Barton Fitzpatrick) wasn’t coming back, but they basically ended his part at the end of season 2 though.

Season 3 was “ok”.

It mainly focused on the character Keisha, a high school track star who is a little “fast” in other aspects of life as well. Kevin and Keisha’s mom got married to Dre, Keisha although apprehensive had planned to go off to College. But then things take a turn when Keisha goes missing.

Ok, but hold up!

Here in episode 1 is where the problems begin. The character Brandon dies. But there is no explanation as to what really happened. We know from the previous season he was basically in an entrapment situation with the character “Douda” but from there we kinda got left in the dark.

So episodes 2,3,4,5,6,7 they are looking for Keisha. They are giving clues as where she is. I’ll admit there were a couple of cliffhangers in there like when Ronnie spots a guy he knew from jail who was a sex offender and he runs at the vigil. Then there was when they found a body out by the river, but it wasn’t Keisha.

As a writer, I do have problems looking at shows. I tend to notice the plot holes or how stuff just doesn’t tie in correctly.

Overall I was disappointed in this season. Here’s my 5 reasons why:

  1. It was so predictable. I mean who wouldn’t have guessed Lala Anthony’s character “Dom” wasn’t going to hook up with her fellow co-worker “Emmett”? Knowing Emmett’s history we knew this was going to happen. As well as the guilted proposal to his baby mom to Tiff. Then Keisha ending up pregnant by her kidnapper/rapist?

2. Some storylines were confusing. I understand Ronnie was still in the mix to obtain redemption for him killing “Coogie” from Season 1, but to have him gunned down by a unknown assailant two seasons later was bizarre. Also this brother of Jake, played by Luke James just pops out of nowhere wanting custody of him. Other than Reg, before this there was no known history of another brother.

3. The random selection of stars was un-needed. All though I like all of them in their regular artistry, parts played by comedian Lil’ Rell, singer/songwriter Kandi Burress and an appearance from G-Herbo were all unnecessary. Also, then there’s the shows creator Lena’s part. I didn’t understand what she was trying to prove because oddly, already there is currently a black lesbian woman who is mayor of Chicago. Which left me wondering why did you write this part for yourself in the show you even in the show? What was the point?

4. Dragging storylines out. Dear writers room people on The Chi, was it necessary to have Keisha missing for nearly the entire Season? There are so many other great character lines you could have focused on.

5. Unanswered questions. What exactly did Jake and Trig give them at the campaign office. Why did she not use the info? And what exactly did Poppa’s dad do to get arrested? Why is Douda, Mr. Untouchable? Why was there no retaliation for Brandon’s death, Reg’s death? And where the heck did Brandon’s mom’s boyfriend go? He just disappeared off the show as well?

After this season, I’m not sure where my interest level is with this show anymore. Maybe what does Douda have planned for Trig and Jake? I don’t know.

If you watched, what were your thoughts on Season 3 of “The Chi”?

Until later…

” A Sick Life” Book Review

I hadn’t read a good book in awhile.

While I was recovering from surgery in February, I read “Letters to my Daughter” by Maya Angelou.

I frequently save books I want to buy (and add to my ever growing collection) on on my Amazon wish list. I just come back to it when I’m looking for something to read. I was on Amazon looking for gift for my mom’s birthday earlier this month and added this book to my cart.

First off, I’ve been a TLC fan since about ’92, when “What About Your Friends” came out. I think every black girl at our school tried to wear their hair like T-Boz in some form. I know I tried it too.

The title alone caught my eye because it’s called “A Sick Life”.

I got the title instantly. Sick meaning “ill” but also “sick” as in “cool”. I knew that T-Boz had struggled with Sickle Cell, but I didn’t know the details.

I figure it would be a interesting and helpful read for myself. Although I don’t have sickle cell, I have kidney disease which is a lifelong disease. Like there is still no known cure for sickle cell, there is no cure for kidney disease. All you can do is treat it.

I found her stories of being a band member of TLC most enlightening. The food fights in the studio, the pranks they pulled on staff member on their team and on each other. I don’t think at the time I started listening to them, I knew how young they really were. They were only 19, 20 years old.

I found her stories of being sick though, so relatable.

For me, I guess I could go back to my husband and I’s first failed pregnancy (Ryan Andrew) with this. Up until I was 23, I was relatively healthy as far as I knew. Then came the miscarriages, which came with the needles, IV’s, ER visits and hospital stays. After our 2nd pregnancy, I had to go every week for blood draws and that was just the beginning of my experience with being stuck like a pen cushion every week. I have tiny veins, that blow easily so unless you’re really good at drawing blood, it usually takes the phlebotomist or nurse 3 to 4 tries to get an IV in or draw blood which as you can imagine totally sucks.

Most recently in the last 4 years, I was diagnosed with Kidney Disease out of nowhere. It’s been a roller coaster ride ever since.

T-Boz talked alot about her sickle cell crisis flares, her brain tumor and hospitals stays. Which I can relate too. I’ve only been in the hospital 3 months straight in my life, which was due to pregnancy but lemme tell you, that was rough!

The amount of ER visits and hospital stays, I’ve had is no comparison to what Ms. Watkins has been through. She talked about how she and her mom basically became friends with the hospital staff she had to go so frequently.

Also she talks about struggle as she went through, and still deals with the effects of a brain tumor she was diagnosed with. All of the feelings and emotions she went through with dealing with not feeling well or looking like herself, the recovery, dealing with pain, while being a mother at the same time…all very relatable for me.

I would definitely recommend this book to not only TLC fans, but to those who are sick or struggling with health issues. She gives a multitude of relatable stories not just about illness but about life. Her positive attitude towards all that has happened in her life not only speaks widely about the person she is, but lends encouragement as well.

She may never see this but…Thank you Tionne for sharing your stories in you book “A Sick Life”! It has helped me so much.

Until next time…

“Overwhelmed”: A Blog About What’s Going On In The World

By feeling overwhelmed, it means the person is given ‘too much of something’. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed by emotion, and yes this can be a positive or negative experience, depending on the emotion.

I don’t usually post or write about what’s going on in the news or topics of this sort. Particularly because it sparks debate.

For the main part, I don’t like to debate people.

But today, I thought I’d chime in because this is enough!

I remember when the Trayvon Martin case was on TV. I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant with our son. When they read the verdict I nearly threw up! I remember thinking, “I’m bringing a black baby boy into this world soon” and how I feared for him as his mother.

Then more lives were taken.

Eric Garner, Philado Castile, most recently Ahmaud Aubrey and George Floyd. It’s disturbing to the point where it really does sicken me to my stomach. When I think about these men, I think about my Husband, my Dad, my Uncle. I think about it personally. How they were someones friend, someones significant other, someones father, someones son. I hurt for those who have lost their loved one so viciously.

Then there’s the women like Sandra Bland. I really thought mostly until Sandra Bland, it was only men being abused or murdered by Cops. This struck a nerve with me because when I was younger, I used to get pulled over by the Cops a lot for speeding and incorrect tags. Many of them were nice. Some not so much. I thought to myself, “what if that was me when I got pulled over?”

But what about the Police home invasions? Well, that’s a whole other topic too.

Life seems so invaluable to some people. It’s particularly scary when that some is wears a badge! It’s not only scary, it’s horrendous and foul.

On top of the Covid-19 stress, this is just too much!

I’m sick, I’m sad and I’m angry this continues to happen…

May God bless each and every family member that has gone through this, and the witnesses who have watched helplessly as these people who are supposed to protect, kill.

Until next time…

A Passion For Creating

blog post

Many of us have had a lot of time on our hands since this horrible virus has come about. Although I am a mother of a 6 year old, as I have stated in other posts, I really am able to get a lot done and have enjoyed (most days) getting to spend so much time with my little guy.

Although a writer at heart, as I’ve mentioned before I love to thrift!

Two of my shops I have on Etsy have really come to a slight slow down. I mean honestly for my home decor vintage shop, I just haven’t added anything lately because estate sales have been dry and thrift stores have been closed. I know, I know you are probably saying what about “online auctions”? You know what I tried it. Back in March and I am just now scheduled to go pick up items.

I am thankful in away that things are opening back up, but as I said in my last post, “Why I’ll Be Staying Inside” I kind of go into detail about my health situation and how I’ll be hiding out per se for awhile longer in order to try to keep our family and myself healthy.

But while I’v been inside, I decided to take a further analyzation of my shops. I have Dear Alice Co. , which I was initially selling handmade items on and then decided to nix the jewelry I was making and just go with my handmade notebooks and vintage home goods, collectibles and kitchenware. On my other shop Blu-83 Vintage (which I initially split from Dear Alice Co.), I sell strictly vintage clothing (mainly from the 70’s, 80’s, & 90’s) and accessories well there was nothing to change there.

So, I started brainstorming.

I said “Wait!”

What if I took my collage art designs from my handmade notebooks I had been selling on Dear Alice Co. and put them on t-shirts!!!

So was born my new shop “99th & Lydia Co.“!

In the midst of a pandemic, somehow I have remained optimistic and am still having fun.

I am still writing as well. Not just on this blog, but finishing up the 2nd book in my Melody Thomas Series which I anticipate I will publish next Spring (Maybe sooner)!

Just thankful right now, to still be using my gifts and still be doing what I love, love, love to do which is create!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

P.S. Check out my NEW shop 99th & Lydia Co. at launching May 22nd, 2020!


Why I’ll Be Staying Inside

Why I'll Be Staying Inside

In many states things have began to “open back up”. Many cities like Kansas City, Missouri have put in place a slow phase in of opening back up starting as soon as this week.

Here’s my thing…

I’ve always kind of been a germ-a-phobe and needed my 6ft. I also never really like being in crowded spaces, it spikes my anxiety something terrible.

As I said in previous posts, this really got worse once I became a mom in 2014. The germ-a-phobe part and the anxiety part. I nearly cussed a lady out one time in Walmart for petting my newborn baby in the store like he was some attraction at the Zoo.

The nerve of some people!

I have no problem with wearing masks either. Nobody in our community seems to wear them though.

The reason I will be staying at home until they find a vaccine for ‘ol Rona or until people actually take this seriously and try to help prevent the spread. Which sadly I don’t see happening.

I am totally cool with just going to pick up food when needed and just going to get medications. My husband has been doing the grocery shopping so I’m cool on that as well.

I do worry about what precautions and the procedures they are going to take in schools this Fall, but that’s a topic far from my mind right now.

The reason my family and I have been taking extra precautions is because truly the fact is that if I contracted this vicious virus, the likely hood of me recovering if slim to none.

Currently I’m in stage 5 renal failure (ESRD) and I have high blood pressure issues.

I’m just not willing to take that risk.

Very few folks it seems are taking this seriously and by cities reopening, I am believing what Dr. Anthony Fauci said. There will be a second outbreak.

I am praying that this doesn’t happen, but I am hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. If this means not going anywhere. So be it.

Heck, I would love to be at someone’s estate sale or thrift store right now shopping for items for my shops. But is it safe for me? No.

I understand many people need for the world to open back up because of employment. Which is all fine if proper procedures are followed and enforced. My opinion personally is people are gonna do what they want though.

What are your thought on “The Rona”?

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

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