Remotely stung while being at Home by Chellyz View

Earlier this year I wrote an article about 2020 being Canceled.  Yep, that was my buzzword.  However, I have a new word that is buzzing around like a busy bumble bee in my home and it stung me.  “Remotely.”

I’m working remotely from home.  My children are learning remotely from home.  I’m podcasting remotely from home.  Outraged about social injustices while watching the television remotely from home. Grieving about the violence in the hood or losing another legend as I scroll through social media while remotely at home. Overwhelmed with everything while adjusting to the abnormalities of 2020 as I sip on tea because I’m remotely dealing with the bulls@&# while being at home. “Remotely.” “Remotely.” “Remotely.” Ouch!

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about how being at home wasn’t that bad for me since I am an introvert at least 75% of the time. However, I also stressed that everybody that is remotely at home ain’t safe. Many adults and children are dealing with some heavy “ish” during this pandemic. Lord knows I am continuously praying for those and always trying to provide resources to help others and even myself at times.

Since this “remotely” situation has been going on, I feel the stinging sensation piercing through my body. The side effects included feeling tired and drained. One of my children is adjusting fairly well and maintaining a decent grade point average though they yell at the computer screen from time to time. The other child is walking on thin ice, and I don’t want them to fall and sink. At one point, I totally removed myself from the daily activities of everything because I just couldn’t deal or cope with it. That’s when this circumstance of being remotely at home started to feel painful.

Eventually, I had to recognize it was imperative to make ongoing efforts to find and maintain balance in my household. I’m learning to take small doses of the hardships of life instead of trying to digest big chunks of info at one time. Some days are good while other days feel like carrying a load of garbage. Ewwwww the Funk!

My heart goes out to parents who have more than two children in different grade levels while juggling multiple responsibilities. I try not to complain too much because many parents don’t have the option of working remotely at home while monitoring their child(ren) progress. They have the added stress of finding a reliable babysitter to help their child navigate through this learning from home situation.

So, there are times when I “mask up” and get in my car to change the scenery. There are times when I stand by the window watching nature as leaves on the trees transition from green to bright red or orange to eventually, they’re no longer visible. There are times when I lock myself in the bathroom to have a sacred space to meditate and get away from the busyness of life. There are times when I turn on the music loud and have my dance party even though my rhythm might be a little unsteady. There are times when I grab my mat and find peace while practicing Yoga.

If you have been stung by the plights of 2020, I encourage you to find a support group, call a friend, locate resources, or remotely remove yourself for a few moments to recover and heal.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

What is the future of Detroit’s sports entertainment or the future period? By Klassy K

Home skillets! What’s hatin’?! I hope you and your family are doing well and keeping safe during this pandemic. So much is going on in the world and it doesn’t seem to get better. From Emmett Till to Breonna Taylor, which happened to occur on the same day, justice was not served. We are not surprised that no charges were made or arrests for that matter. Therefore, no one will be held accountable for the tragedies that occurred. I am so disappointed in the judicial system and the “so-called” laws in place. It just doesn’t seem to include black people. Since the day of time, blacks were never given a fair trial, justice, or “equal opportunities,” etc. 

We always ask ourselves, “What did we do to deserve such unfair practices?” We still must ask ourselves that question, but it is not our fault that white people and police officers have a problem with us. We need to stop thinking that it is “us,” and really, it’s “them” with the problem. I’m so sick of hearing about the victim had a criminal record, or that person had a gun, really it was a cell phone, or that person looked suspicious, or something simple as that person looked at me the wrong way. So, “I abused my authority by killing them.”

Unfortunately, innocent black people are being murdered; it seems like every other week, harassed, discriminated against, etc. because white people and police officers have a “problem” with us. You know what they want, meaning the police and predominantly white people? Control, submission, and superiority. Reminds you of slavery, doesn’t it? The past four years have been the worst of my life, and it’s a shame that I have to tell my children about racism in 2020 and maybe called a “nigga” or “driving while black” when a police officer pulls them over for no reason. 

 I put all the blame on 45. Some of y’all already know who that is, whether “it’s” your president or not. The “stand back and stand by” will not denounce his white supremacy connection. He yells out fake news every time the truth is released, lies, promotes violence, exhibits narcissist behavior, and so much more. I don’t even want to get into it. You get the idea. We are tired of it, and deserve change now! Black, brown, people including decent white people, have lost a loved one for shouting “Black Lives Matter.” Covid-19, police brutality, and the “proud boys” are killing innocent people, including white people.

Celebrities and athletes are paying attention to the travesties of what is going on in America. They want change just like the rest of us. Athletes are showing their support by having their jerseys displaying social change. Celebrities are using their platform by speaking out via social media or television, etc. Everyone is affected somehow, and we all ask ourselves, “Will it ever end”? Yeah, when the earth has had enough, and judgment day will decide rather you are going to heaven or hell?  

The only thing that can somehow bring comfort is watching sports, television, being with friends and family, or whatever brings you enjoyment. Just try to enjoy your life as much as you can, because tomorrow, as you know, is not promising!

Speaking of sports entertainment, the Lions has only won one game this season out of 4, which is the worst in NFL history. The Red Wings had a virtual draft and had the number 4 picked and the chosen guard is Jan Bednar. The NBA Finals were this past Sunday, October 11th. The Lakers won against Miami Heat, which I called out. Tigers general manager Ron Gardenhire quit back in September, and the Pistons are still trying to figure out how to build the team around Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose. So, what is the future of Detroit’s sports entertainment? Probably a question that the owners can answer or the general manager for that matter.  

– Klassy K’s Sports Korner: A contributor writer for http://www.aheartfullofconversations.com

I’m about to! By Chellyz View

I don’t know about you, but 2020 has me feeling, “Cray, Cray.” Not sure if people still use that phrase, but who cares! Hell, that’s how I feel! I have dealt with fear, frustration, confusion, gratefulness, thankfulness, sadness,  and unpreparedness. Well, I think you get the picture. Many emotions have invaded my body and mind to the point where I felt I needed to walk around with a do not trespass sign on my forehead. With everything that is going on I am learning how to navigate through these overwhelming amount of feelings.

If I am uncertain about anything, one thing is for sure; I have decided to adopt a phrase my children state often. Usually, when I ask them to complete a task or chore, their response in the abbreviated edition is, “I’m bout to.” Well, that is what I have decided to do. “I am about to” embrace this life like never before.

Though COVID-19 is still out there lurking in every corner of our lives, and ready to snatch the next victim, I can’t live in fear. I stay prayed up, masked up, and try to be as cautious as I can. This year, I have witnessed individuals who were too young personally and from afar leave this Earth before reaching half a century. Before I know it, if the Holy Spirit allows, I will be approaching that AARP stage. With that being said, I’m about to live each day with a purpose, plan, and peacefulness, as I have never experienced before.

On that note….

I am about to uninvite myself to arguments that take up my energy.

I am about to use my voice to advocate for myself. No, that doesn’t mean I am the angry black woman.

I am about to scream or curse as deemed appropriate to help me release tension.

I am about to finish projects that have been placed on my heart to complete before the end of the year.

I am about to become more disciplined to complete a certification I have been lazy about.

I am about to create my happiness when those around me disappoint me.

I am about to push depression to the side when it tries to consume my soul and accept help when needed to have a healthier mindset.

I am about to let others know their emergency doesn’t become my emergency, but I will offer the necessary resources when available to help them become self-sufficient.

I am about to love myself more.

I am about to make it clear others will not stress me out.

I am about to say no when I want to without guilt.

I am about to shed the unnecessary weight be it related to pounds or people that holds me down.

I am about to take risks when doubt tries to step on my toes and keeps me from pursuing my dreams.

I am about to accept accountability for my misjudgments and mistakes and continue to grow, heal, and move on.

I am about to stay encouraged when the enemy wants me to remain defeated.

I am about to get my finances in order.

I am about to focus on what is ahead of me instead of what has passed.

I am about to live my life to the fullest based on my terms.

I am about to walk with confidence when low self-esteem tries to persuade me that I am not good enough.

I am about to cry when I need to, laugh when I want to, and relax when I must.

I am about to stop talking about what I need to do and just put forth the effort to make things happen.

I am about to trust in the Holy Spirit more.

I am about to increase my faith and spiritual life.

I will add to this list if need be. Not one moment is promised to us. So, I am about to do what I need to do for my sanity. What about you? 

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

“A Vicious Cycle” by Butch Ford

“A Vicious Cycle” by Butch Ford

I read a post a few months ago, and it read, “If we kill US & if they kill US.  There will no more US.”  That resonated in my spirit, and my soul couldn’t rest.  It inspired me to write about it.  Then you factor in the lives lost to COVID-19, and the lady who posted it was right.  We’re becoming the next endangered species.  I’m appalled, outraged, deeply concerned, and morally defeated.

In broad daylight, Minnesota resident George Floyd, yet another unarmed black man senselessly lost his life to four Minneapolis Police Department officers.  Breona Taylor was slain in her own home during a “no-knock” search warrant executed by the Louisville, Kentucky Police.  And there are several other similar cases too numerous to mention.

Our country has a serious problem, and it’s time to address it.  It’s 2020, and the same social injustices that my grandparents fought about and against 60+ years ago still exist today.  People have had enough.  It’s time for a change.  But where do we start?  The hatred is so deeply rooted in the fabric of America.  Only now, it’s blatant and extremely obvious…plus highly visible to anyone who cares to pay attention.  But we are fighting a losing battle?

The one bright spot in all of this is, several other ethnic groups are protesting and standing alongside African Americans in our fight for equality, this time.  It’s pleasing, and it shows that we aren’t in this battle alone.  Some things have changed since the Civil Rights Movement in the ’60s, and there are still good people in our country. 

My biggest concern is the heinous and senseless black on black crime…we’ll get into that topic later.  But make no mistake about it.  It’s time to stop the mistreatment of minorities and end all racial discrimination once and for all.  We should all be outraged and should demand systematic reform.  What are your thoughts? 

Virtual Sports, The New Norm? by Klassy K

New Norm Sports

Virtual Sports, The New Norm? by Klassy K

Home skillets! It’s been a long time and I know that it’s been quite a difficult time for all of us. Many have lost their lives due to the Coronavirus, became ill, and/ or suffered in some form of fashion. Whether emotionally, financially, physically, and/or spiritually, we all have been affected in some way. Our lives were completely changed overnight.  One day we are going into work to working from home, taking kids to school to homeschooling, having social gatherings with friends and family to now social distancing, Zooming, and wearing masks everywhere we go.

Honey chile, I have to say that one good thing out of all of this was not having to take my kids to school and picking them up. Homework, class projects, assignments, checking and reminding them to go to google classrooms, e-mailing and calling teachers, making sure their lunches are ready, trumpet and violin lesson(s), clothes are cleaned, hair is done, whew chile! I am having hot flashes just thinking about it. I guess I’m lazy, who knows?  Hey, that’s what working from home can do to you!

We (United States) were not prepared for this pandemic and unfortunately many lives were lost. Social injustice, police brutality, systematic racism, blacks being murdered, lynching of blacks (not suicide by “hanging themselves”), “Karen” incidents for just being black, and so many countless others, 45 and other political leaders are not doing much about it. I have to say that this “2020” was not what I was expecting it to be at all.  As a matter of fact, I was looking forward to it because it is the election year. Now Americans are finding other ways to entertain themselves, since sporting events, concerts, and other crowded outside events were all canceled.

Coronavirus Stadium

However, there have been many talks with owners of major league baseball, NBA, NHL, NFL, etc. to bring sports entertainment to the television. In fact, the Detroit Tigers will have their season game tomorrow, Friday, July 24 airing on Fox Sports, playing against the Cincinnati Reds at 6:10 pm. Unfortunately, the players will be playing in an empty stadium, but hey at least we can be somewhat entertained. What’s creepy though, some television outlets are thinking of creating animated virtual holograms to be “fans” in the stands. I guess to make watching the game seem “normal” since the virtual fans will make boo’s, clap, shout, and even do the wave. Well if that should happen at least we are going to be able to predict what they are going to do as soon as a player hits a home run, fouls out, or simply their teams are just flat out losing.

The NBA is doing “bubble” exhibitions with their players, which is another way of saying, welcome to the new norm pandemic basketball. The NHL is waiting to return to finish the rest of the season and the NFL is getting ready for training camps. I know eventually, sports entertainment will return completely.  However, will the new norm possibly be wearing masks, only allowing 50% capacity into a stadium, having hand sanitizers everywhere, practicing social distancing? Who knows?

– Klassy K’s Sports Korner: A contributor writer for http://www.aheartfullofconversations.com

 

 

“Gone But Not Forgotten” by Butch Ford

Joe Louis Areana

“Gone But Not Forgotten” by Butch Ford

As the world continues to change and as we further adjust to our new way of life, two staples in Detroit sports history have recently been demolished, right up under our noses; Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Both monuments were the homes to several  NHL Stanley Cup and NBA Finals Championships by the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons respectively…as well as countless concerts, Monster Truck Shows, The Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus, and NCAA Collegiate Athletic Events.

Some of my fondest memories took place in these venues.  The Controversy and Purple Rain Tours by Prince; New Edition’s Heart Break and Home Again Tours, The Soldier of Love Tour by Sade, and The Triple Threat Tour featuring Bell Biv Devoe, Johnny Gill & Keith Sweat.

Palace

But it was the championship tradition established by our two winning franchises that make these such colossal losses.  We all remember The Bad Boys in the late ’80s.  Who could forget Steve Yzerman and The Russian Five?  And the “Going To Work” Pistons of the ’90s with Big Ben, Rip, Chauncey & Rasheed made us beam with pride.

We’re all gonna miss “The Joe” and “The House That Isiah Built” as they were affectionately known, but the memories will last for generations.  Detroit is a sports town with a rich sports history.  We’re just patiently awaiting the next wave to ride.  Don’t worry.  It’s coming soon.  But this time it will take place in the beautiful Little Caesars Arena.

 

Butch Ford

How I made it to 100! by Chellyz View

 

Sunglasses 100

How I made it to 100! by Chellyz View

Can you believe I made it to 100! Look, I know you are thinking I can’t believe she made it to 100. I am not talking about my age. Logically, you are thinking about numbers but on a level of momentum, I am talking about blog posts! I am so thankful, but let me be absolutely truthful. I DID NOT MAKE IT ALONE!!!  Getting to 100 had me feeling a range of emotions from happiness, loneliness, excitement, disappointment, anticipation, nervousness, jubilation, frustration, progress, procrastination, and achievement.

A Heart Full of Conversations started off with a small statement back in 2011. Initially, the blog was going to be called “Havin Sumthin 2 Say.”  My Sister DeAnn Jordan was standing at my cubicle during a break. I said, “I want to start a blog about Detroit.” Of course, she offered her encouragement and that was that. Then my other Sister LaTonja Degraffenreid-Smith continued to offer inspiration about moving forward with my goals and that was that.  My momma, Wanda Betty, and my aunt, Sherry Betty always told me to follow my dreams and that was that.  A few years later I remember attending an amazing Vision Board party hosted by the empowering Cherisa “Do You See” Allen. At the event, I sat next to one motivational lady by the name of Kallista.   I was telling her I wanted to start the blog and how I needed to change the name once again and went on and on. Finally, she said, “Give Birth to It.” Yes, that is exactly what I was going to do, but that was that.  So many visions, words of positivity, and time kept on passing me by.

By 2016, I interviewed Pamela Duvall, the owner of Detroit Vintage Coffee and Tea House. Voila, and that was that.  At one point, I even felt a little burned out.  However, the Burn Out Coach Latanya Riggs checked me and pushed a group of us to keep pursuing our dreams and that was that.  A year later after interviewing Ms. Duvall, I published my first blog post on January 31, 2017:  https://aheartfullofconversations.com/2017/02/01/detroit-vintage-coffee-and-tea-house-the-oasis-in-my-neighborhood/.  After releasing my first post I was ready to crank out the articles. And that was that!

Suddenly, it felt a little overwhelming keeping up the content and working full time. A team of dedicated souls helped this sister and I am forever grateful!!! I asked my two sistahs Tresa Simmons and Marquesha Brooks to join me on the journey.  Tresa contributed invigorating articles about Women’s Wellness until she moved to AZ. Now, she is living her best life, published a new book, and fulfilling her entrepreneurial goals. Marquesha continues to share everybody’s posts while contributing sports content. Then Boom COVID-19 put a halt to that! However, my favorite Home Skillet will be back with Klassy K’s Sports Korner soon. Well, Hopefully! She definitely knows how to break down the sports and keeps you laughing at the same time.

Awwwwwww, then my Big Brother Mr. Butch Ford joined the team in 2019. His clever style of taking lyrics from songs and applying them to his writing is pure talent. Ford’s posts are thought-provoking and witty.  I see an R and B Blog Platform in the immediate future!!!

Please, let me also graciously thank alllllllllllllllllllll the wonderful individuals who have contributed their talents and written a post, and those I have interviewed over the years!!!!  Also, thanks to the individuals who are featured on the blog’s YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIlI7tJYvgXfeC3uvQxndFQ

My heart can’t thank each and every one of YOU enough!!!!!

Garden 100 pic

If you want to start a blog, make it happen. Remember, this walk is easier when you invite others to support you on the path. All I can say is I am thankful I made it to 100. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, share, comment, and follow the page on Facebook and Instagram. It gets tough staying on the path to accomplishing my goals but I am doing so gracefully. I truly can’t tell you how long this platform will be around. For now, I will offer what I can for as long as the Holy Spirit allows. I’m so proud of myself. Best wishes to the bloggers who are trying or who have made it to 100. I wish you much success!!! And That is That!!!!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Photo Credit:  The Super Hero aka My Son

Background:  Greening of Detroit /  Michigan Ave. and Shelby / Downtown Detroit

“A Match Made in Heaven” by Butch Ford

 

Friendship

“A Match Made in Heaven” by Butch Ford

There was a hodge-podge group of people I met back in the fall of 1982.  I was the new kid and essentially “a fish out of water.”  I didn’t live in the area and had no history with any of them to speak of.  I would just observe and take mental notes until I felt more comfortable with things.

KB was the first one I met. She was a sweet, quiet, and shy young lady who was really kind to me but was always about her business.  YB was the “cutie” in the designer jeans.  She had long flowing hair and always seemed to turn heads whenever she would strut past you.  RR was this fast-talking, loud chick who always appeared angry to me.  You would hear her coming long before you’d actually see her.  She was an acquired taste, in my opinion.  DD was a bright, charismatic, intellectual sista who was simply brilliant.  And she knew it too.  A precursor of things to come, perhaps?

Double J. was the “around the way girl” who knew everybody and vibed with everyone she came in contact with.  LS and BS were the laid back biological sisters who you could barely tell apart.  They had million-dollar smiles and were sweet as pie.  They had a younger sibling LS, who was a little rough around the edges and wasn’t one to play with.  But we got along great.

DM and NP were best friends from way back. They were a bit hard for me to assess.  Probably because I didn’t see them very often.  According to the brothas, NP flaunted the physique of a grown-ass woman much older than her actual teenaged years.  A “traffic stopper” if you will.  And DM was a lady in every sense of the word who carried herself with a quiet and sneaky confidence…like she was hiding something.  JE was the athlete.  She played every sport…and excelled at each one of them.  She was smart, as well.

KM was a quiet brother who resembled someone from the DeBarge family. He barely spoke above a whisper.  SS and OP were down-to-earth, cool individuals that were unassuming and mostly played the background.  But they were loved by all.  And then there was me.

None of us really hung out together.  And we all seemed to run in different crowds.  I’d later discover that the majority of them did indeed have a history with each other.  As they attended elementary and middle school together years prior.  But at that time, everyone was trying to find themselves and carving their own niche in the world.  It’s called growing up.

Today…35 years later: Kecia, Yolanda, Rita, Dionne, Joycelyn, Linda, Brenda, Lisa, Dianne, Nichelle, Jacqueline, Keith, Sylvia, Onza, La’Tricia, Patricia and my cousin Freda share the tightest and most incredible bond.  They are more than just my friends.  They are my family.  Although It’s hard to put into words what they truly mean to me.  If you were to sit them down and ask them about it… I’m sure they’d tell you something similar to what I’m trying to describe to you right now.  It’s special.

Life is so short and nothing is guaranteed.  Love one another.  Be good to each other.  We never know where life will take us or what God has planned for us.  I couldn’t have foreseen the closeness I would eventually share with these people.  None of us saw this coming.  But it’s here and we’ve embraced it.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without any of them.  We’re all still very different, but that’s what makes it all work.  Truly a match made in heaven.

 

Butch

 

“Motown Philly” by Butch Ford

Motown Records

 

“Motown Philly” by Butch Ford

The 1960s introduced us to a brand new sound.  It originated in a tiny little home on the westside of Detroit called “Hitsville”  The founder and visionary Berry Gordy recruited every talented musician, singer, and songwriter in the area to put his dream in motion.  He wanted to make “music for the people.”

The result was a musical revolution dubbed “The Motown Sound.”  Happy music with the ability to bring people together peacefully and harmoniously.    We fell in love with The Temptations, The Tops, Marvin, Stevie, The Supremes, Smokey, Gladys, The Jackson 5 and so many others.  The backbone was a group of relatively unknown musicians named The Funk Brothers (google them) who brought Gordy’s vision to life.  Songwriters such as William Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Norman Whitfield, and countless others combined to form this dream team that changed American History forever.

In 1971, Philadelphia International Records was launched.  It was the brainchild of the legendary songwriting/production team of Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff with their long-time friend and collaborator Thom Bell.  The goal was to tap into the endless supply of talent in and around the city of Philadelphia.  Hence…”Philly Soul” was born.

The sound was built upon beautifully orchestrated string arrangements combined with driving bass and percussion.  Not to mention strong soulful vocals and intricate harmonies.  From this…Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, and The Jacksons (who defected from Motown) made their mark in Soul/R&B History.

There’s still a friendly debate that exists today.  You might hear some old cats arguing about which Record Company or era produced the greatest music.  It’s a matter of opinion, I suppose.

New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe member and co-founder Michael Bivins were onto something when he coined the phrase “Motown Philly” back in the early ’90s while developing Boyz II Men.  He understood the influence of both companies and the impact they had on the history of Black Music.  Personally…you can’t go wrong with either.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the contributions of Staxx and Chess Records.  They both played a huge part in the fabric of soul music as we know it today, as well.

Butch Ford

 

 

 

 

“Inspired by George Floyd” by Butch Ford

George Floyd

“Inspired by George Floyd” by Butch Ford

Sometimes I sit and reflect on the way life used to be.  Naw that’s actually some bullshit.  Honestly…I do that quite a bit.  Things were a lot easier when we were the kids.  We had parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to lead and guide us.  They showed us right from wrong and there were lessons in everything they would say.  Life seemed so pure and innocent back then.
There were obvious challenges, but we were protected from them.  We didn’t know we were poor.  We weren’t aware that they struggled so mightily.  All we saw and felt was the overabundance of love that they showered us with.
Personally, I had strong ties in my church home in which I was raised.  The block I grew up on was a tight-knit extended family.  Little League, Highschool & College Baseball produced unbreakable lifetime bonds. And dozens of friends have lasted throughout the decades.
But today…a lot of the influential people I made reference to earlier have gone on to glory.  And life isn’t quite the same without them anymore…as now, we are the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  It’s our responsibility to carry on the legacy of strong, positive, respectful, and proud role models & leaders to the generations watching us.  In some aspects, we’ve made strides.  And in several ways, we’re failing them.
The name George Floyd has become synonymous with change, reform and unity.  But there’s a lot of additional work that has to be done.  This is only the beginning.  But it seems as though we’ve turned the corner.  Whites are standing with us in our struggle.  Our voices are being heard.  And it’s stretched beyond our borders.
I can’t speak for everyone.  But I know my relatives, church family, neighborhood family, educators, coaches, friends, and Civil Rights Activists who are no longer with us…have to be smiling down on us & beaming with pride.  Maybe we have finally “overcome.”
                                               Butch Ford