With the flood of natural hair mavens and models dominating the Internet, you can easily get washed aside, watching curl after curl rapunzelize before your widening eyes. Your mouth hangs open, and once in a while, it whispers pretty compliments, but this thought lurks in the shadows: "I've been natural for all these year and her hair is just three years old and growing like crazy. All the luck and good hair. I can't stand people like that." You suck your teeth. Worse is when the long natural-haired belle says that all it takes is patience. Never stopping to look in the mirror, you fail to realize that your relentless gaze has in fact turned green, an emotion that can poison your spirit and your hair.
Ladies, being a green-eyed monster has its challenges and in the end, it never matches up with the other green that represents growth. In the natural hair case, you look at and desire "her" hair. She has happy waves and black ringlets, on which the sun bounces its young rays. She has hair for days and it is all hers, grown from the very "pores" on her scalp. You've stared at, for it reaches past her neck and shoulders and not a strand is out of place. You want hair like this. Nothing is wrong with that. Who wouldn't want hair that behaves in public and is at its healthiest!
However, wanting and wanting and wanting and then softly hating is unbecoming and so are green-eyed monsters. Mike Mazowski is a green-eyed monster and Kermit the Frog, well, he's just green. Either way they don't have hair, none whatsoever, possibly just tiny scales like flaky dandruff.
So, if you want your own hair to grow, you must come out of this character
immediately and realize that achieving long and healthy natural hair takes HARD work and diligence. It is not an overnight magic trick on your hair follicles. Instead ask how it is done so that you can try the method.
Since green-eyed monsters have no goals or timelines in which to accomplish these goals, they will not get what they see others with simply because they are caught up doing two tasks: mumbling ill to and about the individual while they focus solely on her accomplishments. Therefore, as a green-eyed monster, you remain stagnant
1.) because hair growth and health isn't a freebie or handout you get just for having a scalp and 2.) because it hasn't dawned on you that you'd have to change some of your hair care habits .
Green-eyed monsters are insecure and if you are one on active duty, chances are you may not be happy with your own hair. When you are not happy about your own hair, you will not take the time to learn its strengths but whine constantly about its weaknesses and failures. You may abuse it or neglect it. You may try to change it into what it is not (a hair's horror story).
On top of that, insecurity has two cousins: lack of self confidence and self-loathing. Both are nasty hostesses and good friends of green-eyed monsters. Having such toxicity in the spirit can lead to a whole lot of stress, which result in hair loss and breakage.
This type of frustration, any for that matter, will make you feel crappy and to get an instant, false and temporary feel-good moment, you verbally body slam a natural hair diva, who has worked hard to achieve hair success, to the ground, all because you as a green-eyed monster doubt your absolute uniqueness. I did say there were some challenges.
That green buries that good in your hair, so get rid of the monster, and as the beholder, look in the mirror and say hello to beautiful hair, yours.
450 000 people is not a small number, and yet according to a BBC article posted in October, this is the amount of Haitian people, minimum as of last May, living in the Dominican Republic without permits or even identification cards.
Go ahead. Feel that identification card in your pocket. Think of the many benefits it has afforded you? Well, now imagine life without those benefits. Not too smooth, right?
When most undocumented individuals and families of Haitian descent, having lived for decades or generations in the Dominican Republic, take it upon themselves to get their status updated, the judge tells them that it is illegal to ask to be legal when you are illegal. One hot mess. (The process not outcome vaguely reminds me of the Brooks Tower Accord.)
Not only that, as of 2010, the Dominican nationality is more difficult to attain and anyone born to undocumented parents as far back as 1-9-2-9 and have been living in the Dominican Republic does not qualify for a resident permit. This is not some ten years ago. This is eighty four years ago! It's shameful that a whole history of hard work, nation building and birth is left undocumented; it is going to rip some very unlikely families apart and cause an uproar.
Thousands have been in limbo for three years and fingers are crossed concerning deportation. If it happens, it would be like sending the entire black population in the western hemisphere back to Africa, whose language and culture is a vague and distant memory. And since Hispaniola is shared, looks to me like someone held down the fence for people to cross over because the funny thing is those same Haitian immigrants were not too illegal to work and help build a nation.
Hispaniola is shared by two nations just like St. Martin. This argument of who's from here, who was born here and being authentic or original has surfaced here too and, in my opinion, has many xenophobic tendencies.
Neighbors should live in peace. I met a couple from who lived in the North and shopped frequently in the South for prices sake and it reminded me of St. Martin's history of how both sides of the island continually helped each other out in times of strain.
Of course, there is no perfection anywhere, but I do hope that judge knows how easily the cards can switched and the situation can turn the other way around giving him or her the same ill-fitting shoes to wear. Yet at the end of the day, law cannot change a person's passion or uproot their love and sense of belonging for a place.
I've met the author of Horses in Her Hair, Jamaican born Rachel Manley, but onions in your hair??? Gross is probably your first reaction, but shock was mine. I had no idea people actually applied freshly prepared onion juice to their hair, so I did the research.
Yeah, we associate onions with a nose-punching smell, food and the kitchen when, in fact, onions have medicinal properties due to their rich sulfur and germanium properties. This cousin of garlic has been the solution for thinning hair for centuries even though it has taken me decades to find this out.
I won't blabber on about the glories associated with onions and will get straight to the point. A study, conducted in Iraq at the Baghdad Teaching Hospital and published in the Journal of Dermatology in mid 2002, consisted of thirty eight Alopecia areata patients, who were split into two groups, one treated with onion juice and the other, regular tap water. For two months, twice a day, they were treated. In the onion juice group, hair re-growth occurred in two weeks in seventeen persons, and in four weeks, twenty people saw results, in comparison to their tap water counterparts who experienced hair growth eight weeks after. Talk about patience. Long live the onion! Despite its whacking smell it fights mini bald patches and scant hair.
The logic is that since sulfur makes up a huge portion of the hair, and other organs, onion is effective in treating it. Its geranium content helps circulate both blood and oxygen while it works to eliminate dandruff and bacteria and restore shine. Onion is your hair follicles’ friend because it is said to strengthen and rejuvenate, cleaning and nourishing the scalp.
There are several alternative onion juice/ paste recipes circulating the web and here are some of the following: (*Test a small portion on your wrist to see if you are allergic to onions!! Even better consult your health care provider/ hair dresser.)
- Mix 3 tbsp of grated white or red onion with 1 tbsp of honey and apply to damp clean hair. Massage into scalp and let rest for half hour minutes. Rinse with a mild shampoo.
- Daily application of the red onion adds color! And to prevent this it is recommended that mustard oil be added to the mix. However, if color is desirable add henna and peels of onion.
- Some recommend blending onion slices into a paste and once applied to the scalp top with lots of olive oil, cap the hair and keep it overnight. Rinse with a mild shampoo. An apple cider vinegar rinse or lemon juice (a little) helps eliminate odors (be careful with the acidity of these products).
- Blend, juice or grate, but in the end, strain, water down and apply.
- Combine water with onion seeds for bald spots.
- Apply black onion seed oil to scalp.
- Add onion juice to your shampoo
- Rub the onion slice on the scalp, cap overnight and rinse the next day.
So yeah, onion does make you cry and hopefully, the next time it does, you’d smile, knowing full well the power of that awful smell. Onion is potent. I have not tried it…yet. Have you?
This cool and shower-prone morning as I was combing through the produce in the grocery store when a pang of nostalgia hit me. Standing in the air conditioned fruit and vegetable section, I remembered the good ole days in Trinidad when I wake up for 5 a.m. and walked with or without friends to the Tunapuna Marketplace, armed with canvas bags.
Every space inside the building and around had stalls and vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, crabs, meat, clothes, products and I think everything except electronics. Portions of the ground are covered with plywood and some areas muddy. You'd have to weave through a traffic jam of people ,depending on the time you go, and endure air thick with sweet, overripe or decaying fruit and vegetables, but the food was a stunning array of colors.
I would snatch up yellow corn and bananas, red tomatoes, purple or green cabbage and gawk at fruits and vegetables I had never seen or tasted before. I remember once a man stopped me to tell me that my money was peeping out of my jeans pocket. "Be careful," he said and I thanked him. Walking home under the weight of those bags was sometimes a challenge since I'd pass up my maxi taxi fare for lettuce or one last purchase. And trust me if you'd ever seen me, a petite four-eleven woman balancing with bags on either side and walking towards U.W.I, you can attest there was a smile or a glow on my face.
All hell broke loose when Pastor A.J. Aamir of Resurrecting Faith Church raised an unusual bar for the leadership staff at this church: no weaves allowed.
According to the African Globe article dated August 21 of this year, Pastor Aamir stated that women who wear weaves are aspiring to be someone they are not. He prefers women, especially those in his congregation to be their true self. His standards cannot be lawfully backed up, but he publicly reproves this preference.
You know brimstone and fire fell right after, particularly on the America Preachers site. Some jabbered away about how financially struggling persons are quick to budget in a weave to "appear beautiful" while others back-lashed stating that the their money and hair is "none of [the] pastor's business".
However, on a spiritual level, it is his business that the very core of each woman is whole, healed and at peace with herself and others, but maybe the way he is presenting this just doesn't cut it. He deals with the heart and thoughts as these trigger behaviors and many women do things because it is tradition. I probably would have been straightening my hair still because it was a monthly practice and having "come of age" this was a norm until I asked myself why am I doing this and challenged it.
In the same breath, simply burning the weave so swiftly isn't fair. Some women wear weaves for versatility, some for protection and some to hid. I think he just got so fed up of seeing them and trust me, the thing about the money I saw it on Chris Rock's Hair documentary and I was shocked that women did payment plans or take out loans/mortgage (I have to re-watch it) for their treasured tresses and its maintenance.
What do you think?
Should a pastor promote self-acceptance, and inner beauty? Should he lift the artificial crown from the church ladies' heads and ruffle their feathers? Would that be crossing the line? Should they have faith the size of a mustard seed and believe that they are "wonderfully made"? Are our preferences simply ours and not congregational?
For the most part, the pastor should see that weaves are like money, emotional and for some, not easy to give up.
Enough hitting, more like slapping went on on a school bus yesterday afternoon. According to the report in the Daily Herald, it was the little guy, a five year old student, who slapped a twelve-year old because he refuse to give up his seat or make room where there was none. A little Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks to me, but instead of being left alone the twelve year old was slapped not once, but THREE times by this pint-size bully and it has me wondering if the little man didn’t have a family connection with the bus driver, would he have made such a move?
Well, Douglass’s and Rosa’s story ended with a crowd and “you should or shouldn’t have”, “how could you”, “how brave you are” comments, but in this drama, the hitting continued. The older boy responded by hitting the little one on the thigh to make it clear that he should stop. And then in defense, the bus driver demanded that the twelve-year old boy get off the bus. I couldn’t believe he did that, attempting to make a child stranded. Apparently moving too slowly, the boy was told that he’d call the father of the child and would be dealt with.
And deal with him he did. The driver detoured to the younger boy’s home, where his granddad shouted at the older boy and refused to listen to his or any other witness account. The cherry on the top, the father’s arrival, apparently with no questions asked, he went into the bus and slapped the older boy so hard, his head practically bounced off the bus’s a/c unit. He told the older child, “This is what it feels like to get slapped.” A very tell-tale incident. And it gets worse, the original driver ignored the boy, crying on the bus and dropped him off in town. His face had swollen.
Is this what we have come to? Is this the example, three generations in a row, we set of the next generation? Unbelievable and yet there it is. I can imagine an incident like this driving a mother raving mad. Above all, three grown men rose up against a young boy. Tsk tsk. I cannot even say pick-o-your-own size. This is totally twisted. I can’t imagine what else that five year old has gotten away with. This needs to be rectified because I do not think that any parent would feel comfortable sending their child on a bus when the driver and at a whim could do off his route to deal with personal matters. Maybe this is what he knows to do in dealing with a situation on the bus. It wasn’t too long ago I remember reading an incident about a student who practically broke the jaw of the driver.
There is a fuse traveling in these buses. Are our children safe?
Not too long ago I remember hearing this guy tell the cashier at Fresh Market that he prepares juices from raw pumpkin. He mentioned his age and I was floored. His skin was beau-ti-ful, smooth of any dents, hills and such. I had never thought of making pumpkin juice and promised myself to look it up online. I did and many months later I finally whipped up some pumpkin juice using:
ABOUT 1 1/2 cups of raw pumpkin
a small apple cored and diced,
blended together with ABOUT two cups of waterstrained & sweetened to taste with agave sweetener.
I did not measure my ingredients, but there are tons of recipes online. Here's one called Pumpkin Pie juic,e which includes carrots.
Pumpkin is a boss even though you'd hear praise given to another vegetable just as orange, the carrot. Did you know you can get vitamin D from it along with iron? I did not know that and by the way the juice was "banging" a.k.a really really good.
Like some vegetables, pumpkin has just as much uses as it does benefits. Shoot, I think it should be a staple for it is packed with beta carotene, potassium and a few B vitamins. Drink a cup and your liver will thank you. Your kidneys, well, they would be a lot happier too. Pumpkin is brimming over with antioxidants and naturally cleanses the arteries. It's effective in the battle against insomnia, constipation, blood pressure, morning sickness.
Outside the body, pumpkin is just as potent. Because of its vitamin C, E and beta-carotene it is wonderful for the skin and hair. As a cooling agent, it relieves burns and insect bites. And guess what, pumpkin can even be used in facials!
Since it contains vitamin A it is a scalp ally and its potassium content mentioned before is beneficial to hair growth. So, if you are low on bananas for your deep conditioner consider using pumpkin.
Do you see what pumpkin is boss? What do you make with pumpkins?
This one's a cliffhanger written by Roman Polanski, writer, actor and director, who appeared in Rush Hour 3 and is (drum roll, please) an octogenarian, an active one too.
In his political thriller, Ewan McGregor, the ghostwriter, was encouraged to take on the one month job of completing the memoir of a former Prime Minister, Pierce Brosnon, whose previous ghost writer washed up on a beach, dead.
The money was good so he takes the job even though it is outside of his genre, and his league.
What I love
The setting. It is interesting that most of the movie occurs outside the city and in a coastal community. It was bleak, grey and worked well with the theme. Although the writer had such intimate access to a powerful public figure, every detail down to the house showed stalk isolation and coldness. Both the prime minister and his manuscript were on lock down.
I liked the simplicity of the plot and the fact that the ending made me wonder and my jaws drop. This movie showed that the content of a manuscript, unpublished, is equally powerful to its published self and can influence or harm you if you're not careful.
What I've learned
If you are thinking about writing or already write on someone else’s behalf, consider this:
1. Don't be intimated by anyone even if it is the prime minster.
2. Know what you're getting into before you get it. Gather information.
3. Keep your distance in subtle things like accommodations, in-house tensions and enemies. Always be professional.
4. Stay within the perimeter of your contract and duties. Cross any line & you can be an accomplice.
5. Expect applied pressure like the instant decision to tighten the deadline.
6. Decide beforehand if you believe the truth is everybody’s business. Is it worth fighting for?
7. Just because the package is cheap does not mean the content is . Handle all manuscripts with a degree of reverence and fierce protection & then decide what you have in your hand after you have read it.
8. Chaos has meaning. Jumbled scenes might in fact reveal many things. Be patient and don’t be so quick to X them out.
9. Keep the original draft.
10. Speak for yourself and be responsible. You know your capabilities and what you have to bring to the table. And no one can “get you into a situation” without you first giving them permission.
What I question
1. What happened off screen?!!! Of course, I want to know.
2. Why is a ghost writer considered less of or not a “real” writer?
3. Why did he take the job after been beaten up and had total doubt about his own security?
So you may have already watched this movie. Did you learn anything else about writers and writing?
Tuesday morning. Late for work. Late by my own standards at least. Forgetting the cinnamon, I guzzled down my failed attempt of hot cocoa with homemade coconut milk and slivers of a cocoa stick from Dominica. You’re probably thinking that I cycloned about the place and then made a mad dash through the door, but I didn’t.
I headed to the kitchen and started baking a batch of muffins. Why? Because over the years, I’ve started too many late days rushing. And in such a state, hungry and breakfast-deprived, I scavenge, make unnecessary purchases, and poor random choices in an attempt to make up for my lack of food preparation and I get M-O-O-D-Y, so to save others from the wrath my late starts cause, I start mentally planning the late afternoon or evening before.
I chose these muffins not really because there is no bread to be found but really because all this food requires is a ten-minute prep and the rest is between the muffins and the oven. This gives me time to complete other things. I’ve had muffins that taste like unbaked dough; that’s how sweet they were, but these, a recipe from my BELOVED Trini cookbook, are not sweet and I load them up with whatever I find at hand, banana, cranberries, grated apple, apricot etc.
With breakfast in the oven, I chose my second beloved, just right, for I—don’t—have—the—time—at—all moments, couscous, precooked. And once she is snuggled in her warm bath of water, I haul the rest of lunch together and walk out the kitchen with a stir-fry: kale, fish fillet and couscous (I’m experimental like that).
Oh, about the late by my own standards thing, well, it all started when I realized how much I HATE creeping traffic, so I, always with this motivation, leave by a certain time. Always. And on mornings like this when my time frame has been compromised, I chose food over rushing. So yeah, I crept through traffic this morning, strupse, but I started this article and my “work” morning munching my muffins.
What is your go-to morning madness food?
Not too long ago, I entertained the thought of a "kitchen" garden, but the problem is I have a purple thumb. My mother, on the other hand, has two green thumbs!
While I was growing up, she had filled my childhood stomach with pigeon peas, spinach, papaya, bush tea, soursop, corn among other things. I remember those days she passed on the names of flowers and plants to me, but they leaked right back out my ears. Some stuck with me, like heliconia and the regularly used ones like lemongrass.
Yet, her desire to plant and or grow things rubbed off on me. I got plant picky during my studies in Trinidad and bought a cactus with a friend. And guess what. Who kills cacti? I did. My friend's cactus lived well beyond my second cactus attempt. I don't know what happened. Sometimes, I felt it needed more water than the necessary bottle cap of water. Other times I lost track of whether I watered it or not. A few years later, my mother gave me plant I cannot name, but I thought it was beautiful. I found a colony of ants in its roots. One wide leaf after the other had turned brown and swooned.
Right now I am mourning the death of my thyme plant, grown and transplanted into a pot of St. Maarten soil, definitely not store bought and attempted. The real thing. It died along side a proud-standing stalk of oregano, which according to a friend of mine, "oregano don't die so easily."
I will not give up this feat.
The great news is that I've managed to keep two other plants alive with the help of the October rains. My onion chives are doing the Usain Bolt's signature pose to the sun and my tarragon has an afro of leaves. My aloe is pushing out little ones. It's exciting.
As I am currently reading The Diary of a St. Martin Salt Checker based on the diary of Albert Buncamper's 1927 diary, I am in awe of the boxes of limes, potatoes etc he sent off to the other islands for his friends and relatives. Don't get me wrong I had my glory days eating mangoes shipped from Nevis or the neighbor's yard. What really strikes me is that although St. Martin was once self sufficient in agriculture and cattle rearing, you hardly find any farm lands being worked on solely for agricultural purposes, except the one on the way to Marigot where the Rastas work the land. And as you can see in the photo above, that right there is our sweet St. Martin land.
What's in your garden?