The Great One!!

Have you noticed how quickly celebrities are checking out of this place we call, “earth?” Do you want to cry but you can’t squeeze out not one more tear? Are you all cried out and all dried up? I can relate. These instances are happening so often it seems. But being at a loss for tears certainly doesn’t mean that I’m any less moved or saddened. It’s just difficult to digest, especially on the heels of other recent celebrity deaths.

Honestly, I’m not sure what emotion ran through me the quickest as I sat in front of my t.v. set for the first time today, and was clobbered yet again with the news of the death of another world-reknowned personality, Muhammed Ali. I could only sit and stare at the screen in somewhat disbelief, and I say that because I was aware that he had been in a medical battle for years and greatly ill as of late. But this still didn’t soften the blow any, when this news blared across my t.v. screen. Death is death and there is nothing more final.

I really don’t enjoy writing pieces concerning people that have passed on, but sometimes, it’s just simply necessary. It’s my way of paying my respects to these people. Once again, I pay homage to a beloved celebrity superstar, who has been a part of so many lives for so many years. I say goodbye with sadness for the suffering he may have endured for quite some time, due to his lengthy medical journey. I also say a bittersweet goodbye, because I believe that he is in a much better place.

Like many people, I grew up hearing and watching Muhammed Ali in my household. At that time he went by his birth name, Cassius Clay. My father was a big fan and often watched his fights on t.v. I recall being fascinated and intrigued by this larger than life man with the huge personality and even bigger boxing talent. All the trash talking and back and forth banter with the late Howard Cosell, was one of the things I enjoyed the most about this great fighter, along with the obvious, his fighting skills of course. Another important point I’d like to mention that impressed me to such a great degree, is that he was a compelling activist and spoke out and fought for the rights of his culture. He was unafraid to be controversial and unapologetic, while exuding a prideful and bodacious self-love that was contagious and often shocking. You couldn’t help but want to adapt a similar mindset after witnessing him speak in front of a crowd.

His influence has impacted the world and his mark will remain forever engraved in our hearts and memories. Thank goodness there is plenty of footage that captured the athletic and intellectual quick-witted prowess, and outspoken persona of this sports legend. All fighters that came after him, as far as I’m concerned, emulate him and aspire to be great as a result of the highly successful and accomplished career of this champion among men. What a great example Muhammad Ali was and will forever remain. Rest in peace “great one”.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

The Light is Green – Lets Go!!

Okay, so everyone, or at least everyone should know that today is Veteran’s Day. It’s not just a chance to have a day off from work or school, but it’s a day that should be taken seriously and revered with all the importance that it so rightly deserves.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been intrigued by an ad for “Greenlight A Vet”. When I learned more about it, I discovered that this is one of the coolest ideas and gestures ever when it comes to our veterans, both past and present. It’s such a small thing to ask, for as many of us as possible, to change one visible light on our respective properties, to ‘green‘ to show our support of our veterans in a lovely and glowing way. I am certainly on board with this idea and can’t wait until my porch light is switched over to ‘green‘ later this evening.

How awesome it will feel to the many veterans that are out there driving and walking around, to look around them and see, all the green lights shining outside the different homes and businesses across the nation, that will pay homage to their courage and bravery, along with that of their fellow service men and women. I can’t imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment,that the simple color ‘green’ will ignite in these uniquely selfless individuals. I am so happy to be able to show my support without saying a word. Never has it been truer that ‘action speaks louder than words”.

So often, in our everyday travels, we rub elbows with so many of these awesome folks, without even knowing it because they blend in with society and cannot always be easily identified when not in uniform. In the same vein, they have no idea who is in support of them as they travel throughout their days and rub elbows with us, civilians. But this simple ‘green’ light will act as a kind of citizens or civilian uniform that will speak volumes. So, I encourage you all to put on your uniforms, by shining your green lights along with me, to show your pride, love and support for these fearless defenders of our nation, who have placed and continue to place themselves in harms way to ensure and secure the continued freedom of this great nation. Won’t you join me?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know?…(15)

Learning another language may be pivotal in fending off dementia. Evidently, there is a link between this debilitating brain disease and language skills.

    • Previous studies have found that even furthering learning/education and/or participating in cognitive and mentally challenging activities, may reduce the onset of dementia. This study also revealed that even people who could not read, but spoke two languages, seemed to have an advantage against the disease as opposed to those who spoke one language.
    • The author and researcher of the study, Dr. Suvarna Alladi, at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India says, “Our study is the first to report an advantage of speaking two languages in people who are unable to read. Speaking more than one language is thought to lead to better development of the areas of the brain that handle executive functions and attention tasks, which may help protect from the onset of dementia.
    • It is estimated that one in three U.S. Seniors are expected to die with dementia.
    • The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s.
    • Approximately 650 people from India were recruited for the study. The average age was 66 and these individuals had already been diagnosed with dementia prior. An estimated 390 spoke two or more languages, while 14 percent were unable to read.
    • The languages spoken in India where the study was conducted included: Telegu, Hindi, Dakkhini, and English. The majority of these patients (240) already had Alzheimer’s disease, 189 had vascular dementia, 116 had frontotemporal dementia, and 103 had dementia with Lewy bodies and mixed dementia.
    • Damage to the brain cells causes dementia, no matter what type. This damage, then hinders the cells ability to communicate with each other. As a result, thinking, behavior, and feelings are all affected, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

***Personally, I used to really enjoy taking French in junior high school and Spanish in high school. Who knew at the time, that these learning these languages, could prove to be healthy advantageous down the road? It may be a good idea to consider picking up at least one of these languages again. Just saying….

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know?…(6)

 

http://www.history.com/topics/niagara-falls

 

    • Approximately 12 million tourists travel from parts all over the country to witness the magnificent Niagara Falls every summer. The grand Niagara River is made up of 2 water falls: The American Falls which are found on the American side of the border and the Horseshoe or Canadian Falls which are on the Canadian side of the border. These 2 waterfalls define the border that lies between New York and Ontario, Canada.
    • At the age of 63, a schoolteacher by the name of Annie Edson Taylor, became the very first person to go plummeting over the Niagara Falls in a barrel! How’s that for being a daredevil?
    • The Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie provide the water that runs over the falls. However, 90% of that water runs over the Horseshoe Falls/Canadian side.
    • Niagara Falls is the largest electric power source in the world.
    • Initially, 5.5 billion gallons of water per hour cascaded over the falls. Currently, the American and Canadian governments control the amount of water flow in an effort to slow down erosion. The Horseshoe Falls erode back about six feet per year. Eventually, the American Falls will no longer exist if erosion continues to occur at this rate. That would be tragic wouldn’t it?
    • Niagara Falls seems to be a ‘honeymooners’ hub” if you will, again making it one of the most popular attractions in the world.
    • Marilyn Monroe starred in the 1953 film called “Niagara”. This film was shot with the majestic Niagara Falls in the backdrop. *Please click on the video link above for more interesting facts.

***Incidentally, this wonderful attraction that draws countless people in droves from everywhere, is about 1 hour and 25 minutes away from where I live! Even more unbelievable, is the fact that I rarely visit this picturesque place, even though it’s practically in my back yard! I’ll have to change that, especially since it is one of my favorite places in the world to visit! Would you think Niagara Falls,New York is a place you’d like to visit?

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Did You Know? (2)

Cover art

Did you know that Maya Angelou was raped at the age of 7 by her mother’s boyfriend; a man named Mr. Freeman. After she confided in her brother about the incident and testified at Mr. Freeman’s trial, he was found dead.

Did you know that Maya blamed herself for Mr. Freeman’s death? She believed that because she had revealed the crime that he committed against her, he met with a violent death. Maya Angelou did not speak again for 6 years because she thought her ‘voice’ had been the direct cause of Mr. Freeman’s untimely death.

Did you know that during her self-induced silence, Maya Angelou found her voice again; through poetry? This life-changing event was the foundation that inspired her very first autobiography: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Did you know that “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was written on a dare? That’s right. Maya Angelou wrote this critically acclaimed and highly successful autobiography before she became famous and was very reluctant to do so, initially. Her editor, Robert Loomis had been trying to get her to write an autobiography for some time and then in so many words, he basically told her that it was virtually impossible to write an autobiography as literature. In other words, she couldn’t do it! I guess she showed not only him, but the world! Hence her quote: “If you want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it.” What are some interesting facts you know about this amazing, award-winning, highly accomplished writer?

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Sundae, Fun day on Sunday Marks Memorial Day Celebration!!

This is an awesome post from my friend lucylula who is new to the blogging world. This is a beautiful piece that commemorates the Memorial Day holiday! Feel free to welcome her and show her some love by commenting. Enjoy!

Lucy Kool!!

Image

Correct me If I am wrong but I always remember that Memorial day was the last day of the Month. This year 2014 marks Memorial day to be celebrated on the third week of May. A little confusing I must say. Although I know what Memorial day represents, I admit I do take if for granted as much as a majority of Americans do,I suppose. If it weren’t for a Facebook status I created on marking Sunday as fun day to enjoy and have as the name implies, a delicious Sunday,fun day, sundae I would have truly not thought of the true meaning of Sunday or any other day of the week for that matter.

A friend replied with a  comment on my status stating  the following message:” Don’t forget to take a moment to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom to allow us to have a sundae on…

View original post 1,079 more words

Ribs Rally in Roc City

 

 

The Roc City Rib Fest 2014 is on and poppin’ again and runs from May 23, 2014 – May 26, 2014. Charlotte Beach had been the home of this festive occasion. However, since the festival has grown so much, it has been relocated and will now be held at the Genesee Valley Park in Upstate Rochester New York. The sweet smell of success and bbq is definitely in the air!

 

This event proudly hosts one of the largest and most professional barbeque competitions in the country! Not bad Roc City! Unbelievably, tickets are more than reasonable with adult pricing for ages 12 and older only $5.00! There are no parking fees or activity fees for children. But it doesn’t stop there – there are no premium band tickets! This is definitely the place to be where you can eat,drink, and be merry; all while listening to great music. Yes, this event definitely covers all the bases!

 

You may be wondering how a festival of this kind came to be. Evidently, it came into being by way of Avon, New York in of all places….a corn field! A group of family and friends wanted to get together and have some fun, so they organized what then was a small bbq festival and rib cook off that was held on Labor Day Weekend in 2008. Seven teams later and 1,000 plus festival attendees, it was unanimous….the people were hooked! Ever since then, the festival competition has been exploding on to the scene yearly and has swelled to 100 teams and an astounding 30,000 people!!

 

Not only is the Roc City Rib Fest a fantastic place to meet and mingle with family and friends, and even make new friends, but is also focused on giving back to the surrounding community by donating a major portion of the festival’s proceeds to its main charities: The Children’s Hospital at Strong and the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester New York. The economic impact of this event is unmistakable as it draws thousands from all over the country putting Roc City in Upstate New York on the map once again.

 

I know…..this is pretty late notice for such an awesome event, but I was reminded of it earlier today when I caught a blurb on an advertisement. There’s still one day left – tomorrow, Memorial Day! If you don’t feel up to pulling out the grill and all the clean up that’s involved, this may be the place to be!

 

 

 

Delivery is everything!

 

 

 

 

I’ve attended many church sermons in my life, some thoroughly relevant, while others have sometimes been somewhat mundane and more or less lost me in the message. But I am happy to say that today, I attended church where the assistant pastor gave the sermon in the head pastor’s absence. Let’s just say that I couldn’t be happier that I chose today to attend.

The assistant pastor spoke of the importance of a man showing honor to his wife. He made note of 1Peter 3:7, where the bible says that a husband should dwell with his wife. He supported the scripture by stating  that not a day should go by where a husband neglects to remind his wife of how beautiful,special, and loved she is.  He went on to reinforce that a man that finds a wife, finds a good thing and that a wife is a man’s prize and/or gift from God. The man’s role is as a protector and a provider for his wife. As I sat there taking in his message, I realized how much what was being said resonated with me and to many others in attendance as they confirmed their agreement in audible shouts of uplifting acknowledgement. Now, as I said earlier, I’ve heard many sermons, and this pastor didn’t have any particular style that stood out. But what did hit home was in the way he delivered his message.

This pastor delivered today’s sermon with a grin, one that was almost out of place, but the message itself and his ability to weave himself throughout the fabric of the content, made it a standout sermon in my mind. I was even led to jot down a few notes while he spoke. It was the kind of message that should have been recorded and played back to the masses so that it could help someone later on down the road. There’s no doubt in my mind that it would indeed strike a chord in someone’s spirit, some where.

I was so moved that I had to approach this pastor after service ended and commend him on his powerful message. Surprisingly, he responded with the same laid back, casual demeanor and grin he always has; almost as if he hadn’t delivered a message at all. I guess that’s just the way he is; a humble spirit. Evidently, it works well for him. I’m not sure if he truly realizes how important the words he spoke meant to not only me as a woman, but the rest of the congregation in attendance. This was a message that needed to be said, but more importantly, it needed to be heard.

On Sunday mornings, I try to start my day by listening to Pastor Joel Osteen at 9:00 am. Interestingly, he delivered a similar message this morning but provided a kind of flip side to the pastor’s message I later heard at church today. Pastor Osteen expressed the importance of a wife finding one thing that she could praise her husband for and practice finding something positive daily and he referred to this as pouring honor into your husband and marriage. Pastor Osteen said that the wife is in control of what he termed the honor faucet. In other words, the more she, the wife, turns this faucet on with her positive words of encouragement, the more honor will flow throughout the marriage. Pastor Osteen believes that doing this regularly will bring about amazing results.

Needless to say, when I heard the pastor begin to deliver his sermon in church, I immediately recognized the parallel to Pastor Olsteen’s earlier message. It was truly an aha moment for meBut I can’t help but wonder, had I not heard Pastor Osteen’s message first this morning, would the pastor’s sermon I heard at church have moved me as much? I think it would have regardless because a big part of what made it work was in the delivery. After all, delivery is everything!

Failure to Launch

 

Failure to launch…..an interesting phrase. But more than interesting, it is a serious real life occurrence that is happening more often than some may realize. First of all, you may be wondering what this phrase means? Maybe you’ve never heard of it before now. You can glean from the words that something has failed to take off. Yes, failure to launch is when our 20 something young adults still live at home with seemingly no plans to leave. This incidence seems to happen predominantly with males. Now, this could be for any number of reasons. Do you think that maybe young females are more independent and yearn to be on their own more than their male counterparts? Maybe so, maybe not. Could it be that in the instances where a young male has failed to move on and go out and find out what life is all about, is because he often comes from a single-parent female head of household? Would you agree that the lack of male influence and guidance has left him with little or nothing to go on in terms of what he should be seeking in life for himself as a young man? This may sound like a cop-out and in some ways it may be. But couldn’t these young males look at their single parent mother(s) as an example of all that she has accomplished by herself? Wouldn’t that seemingly be enough inspiration for them to take the bull by the horns and seize life? Evidently not in some instances. This scenario is very much alive and well. But why?

It would be easy to just say that some young males today are lacking in ambition and are not motivated by much of anything. The main form of stimuli for many of these males comes in the form of a video game system where they can be found any time of day glued to the screen as if they were hypnotized. You might be wondering how I know all this? Well, I happen to have a failure to launch situation of my very own! Yes….I live this every day. I have one son, age 23 and as the years go by(more and more quickly), he seems to dig his heels in deeper. It seems there is really no plan to explore life on his own any time soon. Without going into a whole lot of detail, I will say that the reason for this is the result of a combination of things.

I too am a single mother. You mothers out there know as well as I do that as women, we can only teach our ‘sons’ so much. We can teach them how to be respectful men, but we can’t teach them how to be men. A thin line to walk.  Almost so thin, it’s non-existent! Aside from all the wonderful technology that has been bestowed on society, I will admit that I have unintentionally contributed to the failure to launch issue in my home. I have often stepped in and solved a problem simply because I would not only make sure it got done, but timely. It seemed so much easier to just do whatever it was myself rather than go through the hassle of getting my son to produce results. I found myself to be very lenient when a stricter adherence to rules would have made all the difference in the world. I guess you could say, I more or less created a bit of a monster. Would you move out if everything was at your beck and call? Would you be anxious to go out into the world if it meant suddenly becoming responsible for everything? I may have raised a somewhat spoiled and entitled child, but I didn’t raise a fool. Why would anyone rock the boat who had it so good? Would you blame him?

I remember the times when my parents would encourage me and my siblings to go outside and play. We naturally triggered our imaginations as a result of always being outside in nature. My parents’ main request was that we had to be back in the house before the streetlights came on. As kids, we had a certain desire and curiosity about the good old outdoors, and bugs and the like. Television was limited and we couldn’t stay up until all hours of the night. We lived in a much more structured way of life than what many children experience today, including that which my son experienced in earlier years.We didn’t seem to have outrageous expectations and for the most part, were very satisfied with what we had.  It’s a different animal today that parents have to contend with. Technology has firmly planted the young minds of our children right where they stand; constantly enticing them to remain focused on some technological advance as opposed to some good old fashioned thinking.

So, how do parents solve this problem of failing to launch? A good starting point might be to begin reinforcing confidence and providing the proper tools to our young people in hopes of inspiring them to handle problematic situations on their own instead of waiting to be bailed out. The  cycle has to be broken at some point. The constant feelings of accomplishment will no doubt build and before you know it, you’ll be witnessing a successful launch instead of a failed attempt.  If you have a 20 something young adult still living at home, there’s a 50/50 chance you may experience this. What will you do?

Ahh….The Sweet Smell of Lilacs

The infamous Rochester New York’s Lilac Festival’s inspiration dates back to 1898 when 2,000 people visited the park on one Sunday in May to observe the beautiful lilacs. The numbers grew to 25,000 over the next 10 years marking the first annual Lilac Festival. Over time, viewer numbers ballooned to 500,000 in attendance for the now 10 day event. The lilacs are showcased among more than 1,200 bushes with over 500 varieties. Truly a spectacular sight!

Rochester New York’s 2014 annual Lilac Festival will take place this year from May 9, 2014 – May 18, 2014. This prestigious event is unprecedented for many reasons. Of course the gorgeous variety of beautiful aromatic lilacs at their peak bloom; drawing people from miles around. People come in record numbers to bear witness to nature’s beauty at its finest. The magnificent lilacs adorn the rolling hills of Upstate Rochester New York’s Highland Park.

This year, this annual event has achieved another milestone making it an even grander attraction on the world’s map. Lilac Festival participants came together to set a Guinness World Record! That’s right! Rochester New York’s Lilac Festival is now officially the world record holder for the world’s largest human flower by Guinness World Records. More than 2,200 people (2,297 to be exact) expressed their love and showed their support for the City of Rochester and this wonderful annual festival! But wait, it gets better! All participants will be able to access a link that has a special code which will allow them to obtain their official Guinness World Record Certificate; a symbol of their participation in this ground-breaking, history-making event! Go Upstate New York!

The Lilac Festival is an event that has something for everyone! There are horse and carriage rides and various arts & craft exhibits. There’s a craft beer garden and wine & chocolate tasting events, music concerts and more. This a family-friendly event, so everyone should be able to find something they like at this festival. I will admit that I haven’t attended this festival in a few years, but hey….there’s still time. The festival runs through this Sunday May 18th! So, if you’re in the neighborhood and looking for something fun to do, this may be a great option! So, check it out! A visit may be well worth your time!

 

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