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January Newsletter

Candalada

Are you having trouble losing weight?

LOOSING WEIGHT

I saw this video online by Dr. Amy Lee and I thought it was great. Even if you do not buy the pills she tries to sell towards the end of the video still take notes about her findings on how the digestive system works. She speaks about foods that are marketed as healthy but very dangerous for the body. CLICK PICTURE BELOW TO SEE VIDEO ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.

REBUILDING FROM NOTHINGNESS

Photo by Kevin Marable

Photo by Kevin Marable

Prior to the passing of my mom, when she could still stand, we spent afternoons going through her closet. She would tell me who she wanted to give items to and why. We would listen to Prince and I would do silly dances but in the back of my head I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I was preparing for life without her. I had already been scared everyday for about a year, wondering how I would go on or what life would be like. What does life feel like without the safety net of a responsible mother?

The day it happened I knew it was the day (Sept 2nd, 2018). My son was sick and he is never sick. He was in bed and it was almost noon. I went downstairs to see her and the nurse said it wouldn’t be long. Some of my family members joined me. It was pretty quiet before we decided to play some musical selections. Her finger twitched when we played, “I will always love you” by, Whitney Houston. So we played it again. By the end of the second time she was gone. Her chest rose and fell one last time and I could not believe my eyes. I wanted to rip my eyes out. Instead I cried quietly. My father called during those last minutes. It is amazing how he can feel my heartbreak from states away. I mumbled it’s happening and dropped the phone on the floor to hold her hand.

Afterwards, I immediately went upstairs and put on my headphones to drown out the commotion of what was to follow. All the articles I read recommended not to watch when the funeral home comes to remove the body. I spent the rest of the day very close to my sister. We slept in the same bed watching tv and looking at videos and pictures of her on our phones. My aunt was kind enough to take my son for the night. She informed me the next day he spent the entire night throwing up but she wanted me to have some respite so she didn’t call.

I woke up the next day (Sept 3rd, 2018) absent from emotion. My brain lost all the vivid images and dreams of the future and replaced them with to-do list. Cleaning, organizing and reading every document she ever owned was my primary focus. I spent 8-11 hours a day cleaning. I started gathering all of my mothers things from every single part of the house, sorting and organizing them. As the days continued, I donated bag after bag of items to the thrift store.

My sister and I planned her memorial with input from our grandfather. It took place on Sept 16th, 2018. The memorial was held at a golf club and immediately followed by a catered brunch. I expected 65 guest and 120 people attended. When it was over I felt relief. When I returned home I continued to clean. I threw away the once beautiful flowers that were shriveled in vases and washed the dishes.

When there was nothing left to clean I started researching the total cost of repairs and upgrades. It took a week of quotes and questions before I could really understand what was highest on the list of priorities. The most prominent danger indoors was electricity. The sockets were weak and shorting and some lights didn’t work. I have never been a home improvement kind of girl but these quotes will make anyone at least try to evaluate what they are really willing to pay for and what they can handle on their own.

After reading a quote for $22,000 I decided there had to be a better way. I asked myself what would my mother do if this was a task assigned to her? She would set an objective everyday. She would meet the objective everyday. She would complete each task and make it look easy but her diligence and willingness to wake up early would be the key.

My mom was the queen of unfinished home improvement projects but the way she approached her professional work was better than the average person. She was the master of simplicity, she really understood money and she was extremely organized.

I decided to treat the responsibility like a job. I spent 10-14 hours a day moving things. The objective was to update the main level and the kitchen. Every article about homes made it clear that the, “Kitchen is King” or “The Heart of The Home”. The house was built in 1982 and had no structural upgrades since then. In order to have the home improved every room being worked on had to be as clear as possible. Emptying the first level was step one. It was tiring and required at least a million trips upstairs.

My cousin and friend assisted me with the demolition of the kitchen and carpet removal. I was referred to a female contractor that gave me a deal on the floors. I spent hours in Home Depot collecting information and advice about appliances. My mom’s friends assisted me with purchasing affordable cabinets and I abandoned the idea of custom cabinets. I installed the cabinets myself. I accepted that I needed help holding the uppers up after I attempted to install an upper alone and I dropped it.

After several weeks of focusing and receiving help from friends I saw major progress. I became more comfortable with the drill. Towards the end I began, painting the trim, stairs and front door. I stained the banister to match the floor and started fixing little things that I could handle.

In black and white this seems like such a victorious and triumphant linaear story. There was a lot of fighting and disagreements with family and former friends. Relationships I valued turned to fragile despair. Despite the feuding, I had on blinders and wanted to finish the job. I processed almost zero emotions although I knew a breakdown happen at anytime. In conversations I said exactly what I was thinking but I did not feel any mushy emotions, neutral and angry was all I had available.

The day after Thanksgiving noticed I lost a bracelet that was very important to me. I used it to keep myself aligned. My father gave it to me as a graduation gift in 2006. The first indication that I was wearing down emotionally was the outburst I had about the bracelet while looking for it late one night. I was already looking for weeks. I cried yelled and screamed. I went outside in a robe and Timbs frantically looking through my trunk. I thought to myself, “How is it that I haven’t cried about my mom but I am crying about a bracelet? Or am I really crying about my mom and I think I am crying about a bracelet?”

By the time Christmas was approaching and I wasn’t completely finished however, the renovations looked good enough to take a break and prepare for holiday visitors. Trying to drill holes while someone is trying to bake a cake wouldn’t work. I put the tools away and prepared to take a few days off from the 20th to New Years.

During these rest days I realized I was so tired of going through everything alone. As in without a life partner. The person I love revealed that they didn’t love me back. Like and best and had no plans for a future that involved me. I was disappointed to hear this and I spent the days between Christmas and New Years doing nothing. I cried the entire break. I was focused on nothing. I felt like nothing. I completely lost momentum. I suddenly became sad about everything. It was uncontrollable. I missed at least 50 Merry Christmas text. I spent the day in the dark. I didn’t go to see my family on Christmas. By 8 p.m. I decided to go to the movies with my son. The movies is the only place where no one can see me. I do not have to speak but I can still be entertained. The screen is so large and the sound is so robust it is hard to think of anything but the story in front of you.

What was I going to do? Where was my energy and enthusiasm? Why did everything that was so important suddenly not matter anymore. How was I going to motivate myself to finish the things that I told my mom I would take care of? What if I die to? Then what? Do I even have enough in place to think that I can even take this time out to be sad? The answer was no.

I did a bunch of manual labor and turned myself into a fake contractor but I didn’t do much self-care. You couldn’t pay me to have a positive thought. I thought what would my mom do? First of all she would never feel like me because she isn’t emotional enough to even get like this. She would read something about the topic she is having trouble with. Back in the day she was a librarian. She has a healthy collection of books.

I went under my bed and pulled out two books, “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and “9 steps to Financial Freedom” by Suze Orman. My grandfather bought “Becoming” for me during his Thanksgiving visit and the finance book was my mother’s. I randomly wrote a journal entry about the day about my feelings. I read 13 pages of each book and took some notes. The very first page of my mom’s book had scribble in it about the best pizza in New York. In the pages she highlighted key words. I felt a calmness come over me. I was not cured, I was still pissed about my bracelet, missing my mother and crushed about my love but something positive was happening.

I told myself: I don’t have the power to recover lost items. It is okay to miss my mom and it is okay to cry. If someone doesn’t love me I still have to love myself and it doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. Sounds so simple, but all were hard to accept. Reading though the days gave me something else to think about. I thought about what I was learning about Michelle Obama and more about the blue print and principles my mother followed and less about my worries of the future and unrequited love.

I spend most days listening to my son tell me about his dreams and helping him with his homework. I try to get him to speak about his emotions and I encourage him to practice his music. I go to bed earlier and when I can’t sleep I listen to music. I made a recent effort to not fight with my body, my mind or others. When I am tired I sleep and when I have energy I work. I understood why reading the books were calming. books can not yell at you or judge you. They only inform you or force you to think. I found this to be the most best way to spend alone time.

I always known thoughts, success and survival are directly connected. This Is why people that believe in themselves make it despite talent sometimes. What happens when you stop believing and the comments seep into you? You break! it doesn’t happen to me often but when it does it is a challenge to recover from. A friend and I came up with a saying called “Block The Noise”. Noise can come from yourself thinking the worst things or someone speaking to you. Blocking the noise is HARD. Especially if you are the noise!

This is my truth only 4 months into a life of forever with my mother.

Candalada / Shelly B

Candalada / Shelly B


WHAT CANCER AWARENESS MEANS TO ME

Put briefly cancer scares me. It has changed the way I shop, the way I eat. The more people I speak to the more people I discover have it. It is becoming as common as a cold. I don't know what the call to action is. I just support excessive check ups and asking an unlimited amount of questions during doctor visits.

Candalada

Candalada

NEW VEGGIE FOOD TO TRY

Heat and serve great with Naan

Heat and serve great with Naan

Located at Mom’s Grocery Store in Woodbridge, VA

Located at Mom’s Grocery Store in Woodbridge, VA

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall (across from Popeyes) : Plantains: crispy and sweet

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall (across from Popeyes) : Plantains: crispy and sweet

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall: Veggie Quesadilla : Full of flavor and spicy

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall: Veggie Quesadilla : Full of flavor and spicy

WTF Walmart

Caucasian products, left. African American products, right.

Caucasian products, left. African American products, right.


Walmart Woodbridge products for Caucasian hair have no additional security , products for African American hair have extra surveillance and cases. I encourage them walk across the street to Target 🎯 to see what a layout looks like. The cameras in Target are placed in the ceiling and evenly distributed. In the lotion, ethnic, Caucasian and beauty product aisle.

Target: beauty product layout

Target: beauty product layout

Target: African American hair products and lotion

Target: African American hair products and lotion

What I saw in Walmart was heartbreaking.I don’t care how much is stolen that is not what shopping should look like. This is why online shopping will eventually destroy the in store experience. Especially for those who are tired of being discriminated against when they go into the store.

The Walmart beauty section is cased in with cameras on every aisle, with visible monitoring screens and items must be paid for before leaving the beauty section of the store.

Notice in the picture below. The camera is directly on top of Vaseline and cocoa butter products.

Walmart: Lotion Display

Walmart: Lotion Display

PRINCE ISSA UPDATE

Click to picture to learn more about Prince Issa. How he used art to cope with grief.