Calgary restaurant rewards well behaved children

Yesterday I heard a news story about a Calgary restaurant that rewards its patrons for well-behaved children. The discount is $5.00 and is taken off of the bill, so it is discreet, it’s not like it’s announced to the entire restaurant. The reviews on this have been very mixed. Some say it is a wonderful idea and they applaud the restaurant. Others say how do they decide what a well behaved child is, while others ask what about special needs children. Is it fair to say they are not well behaved? One person’s comment referred to her brother who is a special needs child that doesn’t look like one would expect and so he would be assumed to be a child who is misbehaving and that is not fair. I am divided on this, when I first heard about this I thought that sounds great, but the one comment about special needs children made me divided. Is it fair to those children’s parents to not be considered because their children will be considered to be misbehaving? Then I thought maybe I am thinking about this too much, I mean if that is the case the restaurant would be understanding no? I mean it is insensitive not to be. The other side of me likes the idea, I mean I would appreciate the discount. $5.00 off of my total bill would be nice, I mean who doesn’t like a discount. And this whole concept then led me to consider how my own children behave in restaurants and in public as a whole, I mean would I qualify for the discount? I remember when 2 was younger about age 2 and under, taking him to a restaurant was truly a skillful endeavour. We would enter the restaurant 1, 2, myself and their father. We would sit and immediately ask for bread and order salads, and his entrée because if he had to sit for more than 60 seconds trapped in that high chair without any food he would start to get fussy. See, the outing would only be effective if he was constantly eating. So he would get his bread and then we would keep his food consistently coming. Unfortunately as he was only 2, his little stomach could only hold so much and by the time his stomach was full we would have only made it through salads and appetizers. So the entrée was always to go and that is how eating out was for those two years. But after that I cannot recall it really being an issue having my children in restaurants. Yes there were many a dinner where I was eating, while balancing a child on my knee breastfeeding. Or taking turns holding the baby so that the other parent was able to eat. But my children were never screaming in a restaurant or running around….for me that just didn’t have a possibility of happening. I am fully aware that this is an experience for many parents as I have seen it many times but I personally have never experienced that. Also in public my children don’t usually act up, sure there are times when they do something questionable but it is momentary and from the stories that I have heard about children acting up I don’t really know the meaning of the concept of children acting up. I have never had to leave a destination because of my child’s behaviour, nor have I ever had to look at strangers apologetically because my child has been crying or screaming for so long that I am getting uncomfortable stares. So I suppose that I have been lucky in that regard and I am very sorry to all those parents that can relate to those scenarios but I am happy that I am not a part of that club. From what I have heard it’s not a very fun club to be a part of. I have received many compliments on my children’s behaviour actually and I take the compliments graciously even though for me I don’t see it exactly the same way. I see some of the things that my children do in public as acting up but others tell me that it truly is not. So in the end I am very grateful that I have well behaved children and only wish that the wonderful behaviour that they exhibit in public, they would carry over when they are at home. But I guess one can’t have everything and it is better that my child has a tantrum in the confines of my home then in the middle of a department store, restaurant, or some other public place. Just another day in 7th heaven. Until Next Time, Be Well.

Tasty Tuesday

I wanted to share a chicken recipe today, it is one of my favourite recipes. It is so very delicious and I make it for my children frequently. The issue is that I no longer make it with the recipe, I prepare it with my intuition at this point. I have tried to locate the recipe but I have been unable so, this week I will not be able to give it to all of you but I will try to figure out what the measurements are for it and in the future I will give it to all of you to try and let me know what you think. So! Instead I have decided to feature another favourite of mine. I tailor this recipe for myself as well, I add more seasonings to the meat but in the end, I love this dish and hope you enjoy it. And just an FYI this dish pairs very well with a nice Merlot.

Chicken Fried Steak with gravy

Total Time:1 hr 25 min
Prep:45 min
Inactive:10 min
Cook:30 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 whole eggs, beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the meat with the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices. Season each piece on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour. Tenderize the meat, using a needling device, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick. Once tenderized, dredge the meat again in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.


Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch slope-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a wire rack set in a half sheet pan and place into the oven. Repeat until all of the meat is browned.


Add the remaining vegetable oil, or at least 1 tablespoon, to the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour left over from the dredging. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk and thyme and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to you all!! I hope that you all had an absolutely fabulous Mother’s Day filled with everything that you desired. I have heard from many different women about their Mother’s Day. Some sounded wonderful, spa days, days filled with their own decided activities, breakfast in bed, others not so….I was expected to make dinner, I was doing what everyone else wanted to do, I was given what they wanted but not what I wanted, one statement that I loved was that even though it was Mother’s Day I was still mothering. And I was thinking isn’t that so true. And it made me ask the question….what makes a good Mother’s Day? Well….from what I heard most of the mothers who gave me their input as to their Mother’s Day being good also did something that did not involve their children, therefore did not include mothering. So I naturally ask, is a good Mother’s Day a Mother’s Day that does not involve….mothering, the sole reason that we have the privilege of the holiday to begin with? And I use the word holiday on purpose because I would argue that while I surely love being a mother, truly I do but don’t we all enjoy a holiday from anything, even if we love it? Well…..I believe that mothers deserve a break too and on our day, the day named for us we should have what we want and if on Mother’s Day we decide that what we want is a break from mothering we deserve to have just that. With no repercussion or shame but gladly given with a smile. I know women who mothered on Mother’s Day and those who didn’t. And I am hoping regardless of whether or not you did that you enjoyed your day because God knows mothers deserve that recognition of their jobs well done.

My Mother’s Day was truly absolutely fabulous. Signs all over my house telling me Happy Mother’s Day each made by my children. Cards that we handmade and tailored towards my loves. One with a water scene on the cover and a sunset on the back and a pop up of my son, 3. The scenes on the front and back inspired by my two loves and the inside because I love him and he gave it to me. 4 gave me a book card that was filled with pictures of things that I love and poems and words to go with it. 5 gave me a card with a pop up angel, they also created why my mom is special statements. I got a plant that I barely even saw from 7, LOL, from the moment he brought it home he wanted to open it, I told him not until Sunday so as soon as Sunday came he wanted to take it and he promptly took it and opened it, forgetting everyone continually telling him that it is for Mommy. But that’s alright we all can understand the four year old that just can’t wrap his mind around a present found in his cubbie with his name on it not being for him. So I forgive him and understand it completely and remember his card, pictures, and sign. I even got to see and spend time taking in a beautiful sunset for Mother’s Day. My Mother’s Day was lovely, truly lovely, the outpouring of love that I received from my children warmed my heart and if I was the type it would have brought tears to my eyes as well. It almost made me forget how absolutely crazy my children can drive me at times. But believe me this morning I got a quick reminder, LOL. I can laugh about it now but this morning OMG! From the moment they woke it was on and I almost, almost forgot how wonderful my day was yesterday and how I felt.

Today I was watching the morning show on Global. Shannon and Sophie Tweed – Simmons were on. I watch as mother and daughter spoke about their upcoming new reality show and how they get along. Sophie having just recently turning 21 and the change in dynamic in their relationship now. Then they began speaking on Sophie’s current endeavours. She is writing a book she stated and then her mother chimed in about her singing projects, and then Sophie continued the list by saying she also just finished acting in a movie. And then Shannon as the proud mother she is began to speak on her daughter’s bravery for doing everything that she wants to, that she is brave for taking on everything and anything she wants without hesitation. When I heard that it gave me pause, it is interesting how some are able to live without any fear and I thought that that is something I wanted to speak on because to live bravely in pursuit of those things that you desire and that make you happy should be one of the tenets of any life. The show went on as I thought about bravery and life, the conversation between Shannon and Sophie continued with Shannon saying that she didn’t have the bravery her daughter currently had at her age and that with her in her corner as her supporter Sophie is stronger and braver as a result and that when she was younger she didn’t have that and she had to find her strength differently. Then the question was posed whether or not she believes that doing playboy ruined her life and her answer was no it didn’t ruin my life at all, ruining my life would have been staying at home and having seven kids. When I heard that I just paused…..huh? Now I know Shannon was not trying to offend me but I cannot lie I was offended. So she would see my life as ruined. On the heels of a Mother’s Day where my seven children gave me such a beautiful day I can hardly say that my life is or was ruined by my choice to have them. I just wanted to share that with you all because it was an interesting statement to make, I am sure she has her reasons but I think that it’s not just to offensive to us mothers who have seven but also us mothers who choose to stay home and have our children regardless of the numbers. Now I am not going to make a huge deal about this my skin isn’t that thin, I have heard so many comments about my having seven children. Granted I have never heard that they ruined my life, but I have heard I am crazy and OMG seven! You have seven children, the comments have been vast. Most in jest, some serious but regardless it doesn’t matter because in the end I do have seven and it is what it is. But I just wanted to make a note of what Shannon said because it did give me pause, it dampened my previous thoughts of bravery as I felt that her bravery comment couldn’t have been for me because I had ruined my life by staying at home and having seven children. I was unaware that that choice brought ruin to a life…..or maybe just Shannon’s…….Just another day in 7th heaven. Until Next time, Be well

P.S. I am sorry to all of you for my absence but as I am sure all of you can understand sometimes being a mom means that life truly gets in the way. And life truly got in the way of my ability to write daily. Life has thankfully calmed down some now and so I am back. Thank you all for your loyalty and your emails about my wellbeing. I truly appreciate it.

Tasty Tuesday

I know the weather today calls for comfort food so I decided that I was going to cook spaghetti with a meat sauce but I wasn’t really feeling that so I made another choice. This was it, I have an indoor grill because today is truly not a go outside and grill kind of day but even if you can’t bbq outside or have an indoor grill you can make this recipe on the stove top as well. I hope you enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Scampi



2 tablespoons olive oil   4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into pieces

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons), plus 1 lemon cut into wedges for serving   2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails attached

3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly



  1. In a medium bowl combine the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, half the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir well. Place the shrimp on metal skewers and add to the marinade. Refrigerate for no more than 30 minutes.


  2. Meanwhile, in a large heatproof pan or bowl that can be placed on the coolest part of the grill, combine the butter, parsley, red pepper flakes, wine and the remaining lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.


  3. Heat the grill to medium high. Place the bowl or pan with the butter mixture on the grill (or you can heat on the stove over medium low) until hot and bubbly. Set aside.


  4. Place the skewered shrimp on the grill (discard the marinade) and cook each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, until opaque and slightly curled. Remove shrimp from the skewers, place in the butter mixture and toss well. Serve at once in shallow bowls. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Mother’s rights vs Father’s rights who loses….the child

Last week New Jersey superior Court Judge Soheil Mohammed ruled that an expectant mother can bar an expectant father from the delivery room, and going so far as to say that the expectant mother doesn’t even have to inform the expectant father that she is even in labour. In this case he found: “A finding in favor of plaintiff for both notification and forced entry into the delivery room would in fact be inconsistent with existing jurisprudence on the interests of women in the children they carry pre-birth,” he wrote in Plotnick v. DeLuccia.

“It would create practical concerns where the father’s unwelcomed presence could cause additional stress on the mother and child. Moreover, such a finding would also lead to a slippery slope where the mother’s interest could be subjugated to that of the father’s.”

He furthers his argument by stating: the doctrine of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), that women have the right to control their bodies during pregnancy. He also cited Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), which struck down a state law requiring married women to notify their husbands before having an abortion.

The feelings about this decision have been much divided and this division is very understandable. There are some on one side that argue that a woman has the right to decide what happens with her body. And as long as the baby is in her body it is up to her to decide what happens in the delivery room. Others argue that men are once again being eliminated from their children’s lives. That by law they are legally and financially responsible for this child yet the mother has the right to exclude or include him at her whim. I am sure many have their opinion on this but I have various feelings. I can see with a woman who has been raped or abused not wanting that man in the delivery room for reasons that are beyond obvious. But because we have had a fight or we don’t get along or are no longer together? No that is not fair and this judgement can lead to so much misuse in my opinion. Justice Mohammed cited that the interests of the mother would be subjugated in favour of the father in this case but isn’t the interests of the father being subjugated in this case as well. When it comes to the birth of a child I do not believe that any interest should be considered except for the child’s. I am a woman, (smile as we all know) and I recall the moment when the father of children saw them for the first time, right after birth, that moment of here is my child, his face, his joy, his instant love that moment…..where he stands in that understanding, in that moment, knowing that that moment is priceless, hell I will speak for myself…..that moment where I saw my child’s face for the first time. Immediately after the birth, when they put my child into my arms, there is no moment that amounts to that one, no moment that measures that, how could I deny that moment to the father of my child because I am angry at him? Because we had a fight? Because I made the bad choice of choosing him? My choice not my child’s mistake to pay for and miss that moment with their father for? Because I hate him in this moment in a life where moments fade and are replaced by knowledge and forgiveness and then regret? Those moments cannot be replaced. How dare I deny him a moment that I personally understand the gravity of but more importantly deny my child of! That moment for my own selfish reasons that have nothing to do with my child but all to do with me. If the woman is in danger then I fully understand that the father should not be there but because I don’t like him? We have broken up? I don’t think that’s fair. And this argument is fraught on both sides because then a woman may ask how can he see me like that and it be alright? His presence makes me uncomfortable and therefore ruins my birth experience. My first crass answer would be well….he has seen you in a few positions hence the reason you are in this one now and it may be slightly similar so… should let it go. The sensitive part of me says yes who wants to be uncomfortable during birth I agree, why would we want to have a person we don’t like or get along with in this our presence in this moment. But this argument is so heated, it has no fair conclusion in my opinion. How can one truly speak and be fair on either side? It is not fair for a man to impose himself into this moment, but it is also not fair for a woman to exclude a man from this moment. This life while she is carrying it has been also created by him as well, he has as much right to seeing it being brought forth as the mother and the fact that it is her body excludes him isn’t fair. She gave him assess to her body when they created this child and that should give him rights to seeing his child, the life he assisted in creating brought forth. In this world of children without fathers present I find it so sad that we are taking away the fathers that want to be there. This father actually took this woman to court in order to see his child be born! Meanwhile we have fathers who haven’t seen their children in that child’s entire lifetime! This man is actually trying to be a part of his child’s life and we are denying him? No actually nothing is being tried here, he was denied it, he was not allowed to see his child being born and what’s so ironic is that he was respecting the mothers desire to not have him there all he was asking was that after the child was born and she had her moment with the child he was allowed to see his child but she wanted him to wait until the next day or further days saying she would put him on the visitors list. And some may say so what why can’t he wait it’s just one day but I ask you as a mother would you? Would you want to wait a day? We as mothers have privileges that we assume to be true? Assume are our right to have? But fathers don’t? I don’t think that this is fair at all….this is a very difficult situation to assess because mothers truly deserve but fathers deserve too and I see this precedent being set will not be used for good and the true betterment of the mother as it will be used to punish fathers. The Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), decision was a hard enough blow to men, true no fair that a woman has to have a baby that she doesn’t want but the father wants to have she can have an abortion but is that fair to the man? I guess my true query here is when did mothers become more important than fathers? Both play a significant role in creating the child and should continue to do so in the raising and nurturing of the child. In a world where fathers must take financial responsibility for a child even if he desired the woman to have an abortion but she chose not to we should also consider and respect the flip side he wants the child she should have it, they are fighting and not getting along he gets to be there. In this case the choices can’t always be skewed to the woman, he has rights too and if the flip side is occurring he has no rights? It’s not fair, I am a woman and I am saying that my rights as a mother should not supersede the rights of a father just as his do not supersede mine, concessions must be made, and understandings must be found. And no one can accuse me of being unable to understand the various situations that can occur between mother’s and father’s because I truly do from the stories I have heard, the lives I know have been lived and my own story so while I have yet to fully go into detail as to my situation, that will be revealed as time passes but know it is serious enough to say that a woman would understand if I said my children cannot see their father ever again but that would be about me. I know what he has done to me and it is truly truly terrible but in the end has nothing to do with my children’s relationship with him. And while I do not want anything to do with him I always and will forever advocate for my children to know and have a relationship with him because that is not about me, him or the relationship that we had it is about them and until the day they decide they don’t want a relationship with him I will not stop it or until it is harmful to them of course but in the end he and I are not and should ever be the deciding factor in their relationship. I think this precedent allows mother’s to lose sight of what their true focus should be. Again giving us the law to punish the fathers of our children for sins that are not our children’s to bear. I am not wronging women who are angry, not trying to incite…. the but you don’t know what he did’s…. but he did it to you….not the child….and in the end if he is trying to be a father a true father to your child after all the wrong that he has done to you…does your child not deserve a father? Because he wronged you? Save his damnation for when he does wrong to your child? In the equation truly…you should not factor in…… It’s not fair to say I come before him, because truly in the end the true meaning of all of this is being lost, mothers wishes…..father’s wishes….where is the child’s wishes no one speaks for the child and in the end the child deserves their rights to be advocated for and in this situation and most that is not occurring. How about we start to say forget the parents lets advocate for the child that deserves equality for access and life with both parents. Just another day in 7th heaven, tomorrow is another day. Until next time, be well.

Tasty Tuesday

Hello everyone its Tasty Tuesday! Before I get into the recipe for today I just wanted to express that I hope that everyone enjoyed their holiday/Easter weekend. I fully enjoyed the long weekend for so many reasons, the most poignant one was the break from the morning routine and having the opportunity to spend time with my children. We had a wonderful weekend together. I look forward to the next holiday. But for now we are back to the daily routines, etc. So here is today’s recipe it is inspired by Paris. A wonderful red wine beef that is served in a restaurant in Paris, France. This recipe is similar to the meal that was served in that restaurant so I alter that recipe somewhat to accommodate that but it is a good base if one desires to change it in any way and it is good regardless so give it a try. Enjoy!

Beef Burgundy Recipe with Wine

This is a classic Beef Burgundy that is super easy to make and is based on the classic red Burgundy wines (Pinot Noir).


Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes   Total Time: 35 minutes



•2 lbs. sirloin steak (cut beef into 1-inch cubes)

•8 oz. fresh or frozen mushrooms (small portabella mushrooms turn up the flavor even more)

•1 medium red onion (quartered or diced)

•2 garlic cloves (minced)

•1/2 cup butter

•1/4 cup flour

•1/4 tsp sea salt

•1/4 tsp black pepper (coarse ground)

•1/4 tsp crushed thyme

•1/8 cup fresh parsley

•1 cup red Burgundy wine (Pinot Noir)

•2 cups beef broth

•optional: crumbled bacon (2-3 slices)

•pearled onions (1 cup)



Combine flour, salt, pepper 1 minced garlic clove in a plastic Tupperware or Ziploc container. Add in cubed beef and seal container. Shake to coat the beef thoroughly with flour mixture. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in large cast iron skillet, add mushroom and onion and sauté until soft. Set sautéed mushroom and onions aside. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of the butter, add the second minced garlic clove and the coated beef cubes. Brown coated beef on medium heat.

Once beef has browned, slowly add the red Burgundy wine and beef broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat down and add the mushroom and onions back to the skillet. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Add thyme and bay leaf. You want to see the liquid reduced by about 1/3 and the sauce to thicken. Keep stirring and scraping the skillet during the simmer phase. You may add a little extra flour if needed to thicken the Burgundy sauce. Towards the end of the simmer phase add the finely chopped fresh parsley for a little added flavor. Add the optional bacon crumbles and pearled onions. Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes (red or Yukon are best bets) or over well-buttered egg noodles and a side of sautéed spinach sprinkled with sea salt. Consider serving the same red Burgundy wine that was used in the recipe with the meal to accent and draw out the parallel flavors.

Pancreatic cancer awareness ads


Have you seen this ad? This ad has gotten a lot of both good and bad press. It’s for pancreatic cancer, it was created in order to bring awareness to pancreatic cancer. Some feel it is effective others feel it is effectively offensive. The person who thought of this ad campaign has defended herself by saying that she was not trying to be offensive but that she was simply trying to shed light on pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of the 22 common cancers, it is truly a deadly cancer yet awareness about it is almost nil. The creator of this campaign wasn’t trying to say that breast cancer is a “better” cancer to have but that its survival rate is much higher than that of pancreatic cancer, however many who have had family members who have had this cancer defend these ads and say that they are correct. Anyone who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer does wish they had a different type. One man cited that his family member found out that he had pancreatic cancer and he was dead in a week, another cited that after their family member was diagnosed they were dead in a month. Both stated that if there family member had had another type of cancer their survival rate would have been higher, that they might still be here today. Early detection of this cancer is the key but many do not get that chance and the diagnosis is fatal. The creator of these ads also had pancreatic cancer, luckily for her it was diagnosed early, was operable, she was able to be treated, and is now in remission. And as a result of her remission she decided to raise awareness, get the message out there and hopefully create a change. I understand the reasoning behind these ads and I also can appreciate the feelings of those who have family members who have other cancers or who have other cancers themselves and are offended by these ads. Sometimes it takes something racy, poignant to get the attention of people, to make people stop and actually pay attention. This is what these ads were created to do and I would say that they were effective, whether you are offended or applauding these ads have served their purpose, they have started the conversation, they have raised awareness and hopefully all of this publicity will continue to light the way for pancreatic cancer and one day a cure can be found. Just another day in 7th heaven, tomorrow is another day. Until Next time, be well.

Broiled Tiliapia Parmesan

One of my favourite fishes is Tilapia so this recipe appealed to me. I think that it is a very yummy recipe but I alter it some for my tastes. So I am sure when you try it you will do the same, but in the end it is truly yummy enjoy!


Makes 8 servings        Prep time – 5 min Cook time – 10 min Total time – 15 min

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon celery salt

2 pounds tilapia fillets


1. Preheat your oven’s broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

2 .In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Karyn Washington

Last week a young lady was found dead in an apparent suicide, she was only 22 years old. Her name was Karyn Washinton, she was the author of the blog For brown girls and the founder of the dark skin red lips project. She wrote inspirational pieces for others in an effort to make the world a brighter place. Unfortunately she was unable to do that for herself. Her mother passed away in 2009 and apparently that pain along with depression and a mental illness, she kept to herself and was not properly diagnosed or treated is what lead to this tragedy occurring. It is truly a sad day to see a light put out by its inability to be light enough for itself. The internet is filled with so many tributes to this young lady who inspired so many people, it makes me look at her with such sadness and makes an interesting realization prevalent again, as I am already very familiar with this conundrum. Here it is….someone can be so inspiring to others and still be so very sad. My question who does the one who inspires others go to when they need inspiring. One is not sunshine all the time, everyone gets down so who does one turn to, when they need that moment to feel inspired. Who helps them to feel better? And in the case of some who can you tell? Not everybody is lucky enough to have that person who they can always be real, honest, and true with, a person they can show their true face too without judgement. It is truly a heavy burden to bear when everyone looks at you as inspiring, people assume that one is so strong, that one can get through everything, people look at one as if they are super human and have no problems but they are wrong….everyone is human regardless of the insight they are able to impart on the world they feel human emotions just like every other. They need that rock as well. They too need the support and insight that they provide for others. People must remember that their gift to shed light does not make them any less vulnerable to what life can throw our way, doesn’t make them any less in need of the support, encouragement, and love that they put forth into the world. In our world of facebook, instagram, and twitter our lives have been reduced to snap shots taken and posted with a happy or funny caption, or a witty one liner followed by hash tags but what about in between the snap shots and one liners? What is our true life like? Many people live in a silent hell with no one to turn to, pretending that life is what it should be, teetering on that line of trying to see the light but truly plunging into the darkness. It appears that this was the case for Karyn, while living her life in what appeared to be light, she was teetering on that line, living in a darkness that eventually took her over. One of her friends wrote a post online, she expressed her grief so beautifully in her tribute to her friend, in it she said that while her friend is gone she will still look to her as her inspiration because Karyn was always inspiring to her. She expresses her guilt in knowing only a little about Karyn’s pain and wishing that she could have been for her as she clearly required. She also wished her friend had seen the inspiration that she had put into the world, understood the magnitude of her insight. While she meant that with all the love in the world it furthers that while she is an inspiration she was not to herself. She needed and she was left without the support that she needed and her loss is so sad. This was a preventable death, her friend was not equipped to assist her, she too being a young woman but there were people who could have assisted her and unfortunately she fell through the cracks. In the end her light has not gone out but no longer shines as it used to. Her followers of her blog vow to keep her light burning and her project in the forefront. However the fact still remains that Karyn is gone now, no longer will she be posting daily and the reason is because mental illness is too often ignored. It is treated as something that will pass and we must not worry about it. But the truth of the matter is that it is here, we tend to ignore the illnesses we cannot see, we get up for the person with the cane, make room for the person in the wheelchair as they pass by but we miss the depressed person as they sadly pass us, or as they fake a cheerful I am doing well thank you when we ask how are you. In our society we do not notice those people, understandably they are hard to identify in public but what about private, do we just dismiss it as so and so is just depressed again. Or they are just negative and can’t see the good things in their lives, well isn’t that the definition of depression? Doesn’t that mean just as if their tibia was sticking out of their leg it is obvious that something is broken? We live in a world where people ask each other how are you as they pass by but don’t even wait to hear the answer. What if I didn’t give the appropriate expected response and I said I have had a terrible day today and was considering jumping off my roof after dinner would the person who asked even hear me? And would they even want to hear my truthful answer, no one asks how are you, to hear the truth, they are just being polite saying what they are supposed to say. The saying am I my brother’s/sister’s keeper comes to mind? Are we? There was a time that the answer was easy, of course I am. But today it’s not the case everyone worries about themselves, sharing our lives on facebook, twitter, etc open in the world of social media yet hiding behind the closed doors of our home cut off from the world in the human sense. It is unfortunate that so many people are really living in a private hell, trying to navigate through the darkness and sadness feeling so very alone. It is heartbreaking that they live this way and in the case of Karyn that they die this way. Hopefully Karyn’s death is not in vain and that her story sheds light on this issue that a message is sent and understood and some change can occur. That people can see that even the inspiring need to be inspired. That even the strong need strength. That even the light sees darkness. And Karyn says it very well so I will end with her words:
“As humans, regardless of color, age, socio-economic status, gender, and other characteristics, we MUST build each other up rather than tear each other down in order to change the world and create a better place for our children and future generations. As women, it is imperative as well as our duty to love ourselves unconditionally, smile and laugh often, and NEVER allow ANYONE to steal our joy.”

Just another day in 7th heaven, tomorrow is another day. Until next time, be well.

Just keeping you updated

I know that today is supposed to be Tasty Tuesday but both myself and my children have been horribly ill, as a result I have been unable to maintain my postings, so please forgive the lack of post yesterday and today, hopefully by tomorrow I will be in better health and be able to post again but in the meantime I would like to leave you with what happened with 7. He went to the bathroom and came to me for toilet paper, I was shocked as I had just put some in there and couldn’t understand why there wasn’t any left. So I got a roll and then went to the bathroom to give it to him when I got there I saw that there was already a roll there. I said to him 7 there was already a roll here why didn’t you use that one. And then with a serious face and a serious voice he said to me because that roll is jacked up. I was speechless my four year old just told me that the toilet paper was jacked up and said it like one would say it’s raining. I didn’t laugh in his face I saved that for when I left but in the end I found it hilarious and extremely cute and clearly worth noting and sharing. Just another day in 7th heaven, tomorrow is another day. Until Next time, be well.