Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Road-trip Chronicles I (Mount Rushmore)

Hey people, hope you are all well.
The holiday season is upon us, and the year is running (literally) to an end.
So, as part of reflecting and taking into stock the past year(s) and events, I have decided to share photos of some my family's road trips.
Road trips have somewhat become my family's annual tradition . We travel by road to different places in the United States either for a family event or to just sight-see and visit friends.

The trip to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in Keystone SD, was part of our road trip during Spring-break 2016.
We drove up from Missouri to Minnesota, spent the night at a friend's place, then drove into Canada through North Dakota, stopped briefly in Fargo to sight-see, then drove to Regina, a city in Saskatchewan, Canada, to see some friends. In case you are wondering, the drive took more than 15 hours from MN to Regina.☺
Our stop at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, was on our way back home. It was a rather short visit because of the inclement weather the day we arrived there (last week of March), so we did not get to explore as much as we wanted.
Anyway, here are some photos from the visit:


A  wall with the names of individuals and organizations that contributed towards Mount Rushmore Memorial National Park project.

The sculptor who designed and created the sculptures of the heads of 4 US presidents. Gutzon Borglum oversaw the project's execution from 1927 to 1941, with the help of his son, Lincoln Borglum.

A wall listing the names of the workers that built the Mount Rushmore National Park.

Some items associated with the area and people (Lakota people)  the Mount Rushmore Memorial park is located.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson,  Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln's heads carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. The sculpture is about 60-foot tall.

A  line-up of flags representing the 50 states of the United States.


Pottery by the people of Lakota.

A view of the sculptures from the road leading to the National park.

Thanks for viewing!😘

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

For Your Present and Future Reference.





Wow, It's fall already! 
It is my best time of the year, the weather is just perfect- not too hot, not too cold. 
For me, fall is the time for reflection about the year that is about to end and the new year that is just weeks away.
That is why I am sharing these nuggets with you now. They might seem to be for parents only, because of the few references to children, however, I think they are applicable and beneficial to all and sundry. Enjoy!

  • Spend the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, but don't leave all of your hard earned wealth to your children or grandchildren, for you don't want them to become parasites who are waiting for the day you will die.
  • DON'T WORRY about what will happen after you are gone, because when you return to dust, you will feel nothing about, social praises, acceptances  or criticisms. The time to enjoy the worldly life and your hard earned wealth will be over and soon like all other famous and non-famous beings, NOBODY will be bothered about you!
  • DON'T WORRY too much about your children, for children will have their own destiny and should find their own way. Don't be your children's slave. Care for them, love them, give them gifts but also enjoy your money while you can. Life should have more to it than working from the cradle to the grave!!
  • DON'T EXPECT too much from your children. Ask yourself how much you care about your own parents... Caring children, though caring, would be busy with their jobs and commitments to render only * additional* help.
  • Uncaring children may fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your properties and wealth.
  • Your children take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth; but that you have ABSOLUTELY NO claims to their money.
  • When to stop making money, and how much MONEY IS enough?...A hundred,  thousand, One million, ten million, one billion... ? Out  of thousands of hectares of good farm land, you can consume only 1/4 kg of rice daily; Out of 10  mansions, you only need 8 square meters of  space to rest at night. 
  • So, as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough. You should live happily. Every family has its own problems.-don't trade in - your health for wealth, by working yourself to an early grave anymore. Because your money may not be able to buy your health. 
  • Just DO NOT COMPETE with others for fame and social status and see whose children are doing better etc., but challenge others for happiness, health, enjoyment, quality of  life and longevity. 
  • You have to create your own well-being and find your own place of happiness.As long  as you are in good mood and good health, think about happy things, do happy things daily and have fun in doing these things...  then you will pass your time happily every day.
  • IF One day passes WITHOUT happiness, you will lose one day.IF One day passes WITH happiness, then you WILL gain an additional day. DON'T WORRY about things that you can't change... age, height, weight, color.....  because it doesn't help and it will additional  spoil your health to an early GRAVE. 
  • In good spirit, sickness will be cured;In a happy spirit, sickness will be cured faster; in high and happy spirits, sickness will never come to you
  • With good mood and  suitable amount of exercise, always out in the sun, eating a variety of foods, reasonable amounts of vitamins and minerals intake, hopefully you will live another additional 20 to 30 years of a  healthy life of fun and pleasure.
             *Author Unknown*

  *ABOVE ALL*

Learn to cherish the goodness around you.. and  the good FRIENDS you have...... They all make you feel young and "wanted"... without them you will surely feel lost!

Wishing you all the best for the years to come.

  


Friday, May 12, 2017

When God Met Eve.




Have you ever wondered the conversation God had with Eve in the garden of Eden soon after she was created?
There must have been a conversation from when she drew her first breath to when she was presented to Adam,before Adam named her Eve ..Then The Lord God made the woman from the rib of Adam, and brought her to Adam (Genesis 2:22).

Now let us imagine what happened in the Garden of Eden Circa 2000 BC.

Eve, just freshly made, opens her eyes, draws her first breath, looks at her body and then looks at  her immediate surroundings. It was dawn, the sun was just coming out and the first person she sees is God...wow!
God had been watching her,  appreciating His wonderful creation.

The conversation that ensued between God and Eve might be something like this:

Eve: Hello * looking surprised and in awe*
God:  Good morning. My name is God.
          I will take you to meet Adam, if you don't mind.
Eve: Who is Adam, sir?
God: Adam is my creation made out of the dust of the earth.
          I put him in charge of my other creations.
          I did not cause rain to fall on earth until Adam was created.
Eve: Wow! Adam must be very important to you.
God: Yes, he is and so are you, Eve.
         You are going help Adam with his assignment.
         However, I have given you the ability to think and
         make decisions for yourself like Adam.
         You have the power to influence Adam's choices,
          But, chose to use this power wisely.
       
         I want you to know that you are beautiful. 
         I have endowed you with grace and poise.
       

If you are reading this article, those words in italics are for you. This is to celebrate our mothers, sisters, wives, friends and all womanhood.
Keep smiling, Keep shining, ladies.
xoxo

       
     

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Add These To Your Resume...Thank Me Later!


My first exposure to the work environment in the US as a newly arrived immigrant was in 2006. I volunteered my internship hours for 6 months at a small hospital in New Jersey. After that, I have had the opportunity to work full time and part-time in a variety of states, roles and settings for the past 10 years.

My family and I recently relocated (again!) and I began working in yet another role-This time, in an area of my discipline (pharmacy) that I have never worked before.
New job, new setting, new colleagues....It feels like "deja vu" all over again, even though it is a little different from what I have been doing for the past 10 years.This time I intend to apply some of the lessons that I have learned from experience, discoveries and mistakes of the past.
Here are a few that I want to share with you: 
  • The work place is a learning environment :

As a new employee, you are expected to have to demonstrate most of (not all) the skills you claim on your resume. 
However, every new role offers the opportunity to learn new skills or to learn new ways of doing what one is already trained to do.

Every little thing such as learning to use a new software program, or a new work-flow process or working with a new colleague , offer opportunities to learn. In the past, I made the mistake of "playing it safe" by sticking to what I was familiar with- I shied away from getting involved in new unfamiliar projects because I did not want to make any mistakes and look bad. 

But now, I have learned to have an open mind to develop new skills by taking advantage of these opportunities, while working. Being pro-active and be willing to take on new responsibilities that are not within " your comfort zone" offers the best opportunities to learn.


  • Strive to be respected and not be liked 

When you resume a new position, first of all,
 establish the impression that you know what you are doing, 
your know your worth and have good work ethics. 
For instance, avoid coming to work late 
or on your personal cellphone all the time.

Admiration and being liked by supervisors/ colleagues 
will come after and not the other way around. 
After all, first impression, they say, lasts for ever.


  • Let your voice be heard :

Of course this is not about becoming obnoxious and annoying by being in everybody's face all the time. 

This is about selectively and strategically sharing useful information. 

Respectfully offering a different view or suggestions about alternative ways to perform a task or work-flow based on experience could be beneficial to your organization.
This is one of the best ways to demonstrate buy-in (commitment) and team spirit. It is also a great way to earn the respect of your new colleagues.

 I grew up in a conservative environment where speaking to your superiors when not spoken to was not encouraged. However, the work place is evolving and employers are looking for feedback from their employers and clients. 
I read an article about the Cheesecake Factory and how they encourage their front-line staff to offer suggestions about recipes and how this practice as improved their services. 
So giving detailed feedback either verbally or in writing is actually viewed positively, as long as it is done right.


  • Ask and Don't Assume :

If you want something or need clarification about something- ASK. The worst that could happen is get a "no" as an answer, and that is not the end of the world, my dear. 

Do not assume that your colleagues and supervisors know what you need to make your work more effective. If you are struggling with a project ASK for help. If your job description is seemly different from what you have been employed for, ASK for clarification, don't assume. 


  • Be part of the team : 

We are going to find ourselves in work environments with people with different work experience, religious backgrounds, ethnicity and even life experiences. 

You and your co-workers will not always agree but there will always be the common goal of achieving a positive outcome and productivity
With that in mind, avoid alienating yourself from co-workers based on real or perceived differences.
In a progressive work environment , being engaging is considered to be as crucial as getting the work done. 

During my internship, I made the mistake not getting involved in non-work related conversations or some meetings that I thought were not necessarily part of my training.
As a result, I missed out in some vital information and on opportunities to network. One of the feedback I got from my supervisor, when I completed my internship hours, was the " I was not engaging enough with the staff members" .
 That was a lesson learned.



Sunday, January 22, 2017

You Just Gotta Be, Hon!....




This is one my favorite '90s songs.The lyrics still have true and deep meaning, especially the chorus:
" You gotta be hard"- Be hard on yourself. In essence, stop giving yourself excuses.
" You gotta be tough"- Don't compromises on your core values, even in the face of struggles.
" You gotta be stronger"- Set goals and strive to achieve them.
   
We started a new year almost four weeks ago, the days and weeks are running by again. They seem to move faster as the years go by, or is it just me?
Honey, channel your energy into the needful, into the what makes you grow. Stay focused on your goals, you might not meet all of them, but put in your best and leave the rest to God. Whatever you have been putting off or postponing, try and get it done now, as the saying goes "time waits for no one".

I know you have it in you to succeed.
Let's claim all the blessings God has promised us in 2017.

Keep Shinning, Keep smiling ....xoxox

Thursday, November 10, 2016

After 9/11.

   





      Phew!
   The US elections have finally come and gone.The world watched America decide amongst on overwhelming "oohs and "ahhs". I found this particular round of elections very disturbing from the beginning. The prospective candidates were either "not qualified" or "overly qualified". Hillary and Donald were not the perfect fit either. There were too many politically incorrectness.

  The outcome of the elections have reinforced my perspectives on some things, for instance:


  1. Hard work and popularity do not get you what  you want:Hillary Clinton, who I rooted for, has been in the corridors of power since the '90s. She has worked hard to be where  she is now politically, but that did not get her what she wanted. Her gender did not even support her, even though she promised to advocate for women and their rights in the workplace.
  2. People will do what they want to do: Regardless of what you say or what the obvious outcome is , people will do what they think would work for them. People will be people regardless of their their educational or religious background. There were many allegations aired and made public against Donald that were enough to jeopardize his political ambition. Allegations that would make anyone blush, allegations that would tarnish anyone's image. But guess what, America still voted for him. I guess we will find out if the majority is right.
  3. Right and wrong does not matter anymore(This is like a continuation of #2):  There have been arguments about whether good moral character is one of the requirements to get into office- Well, I think, it is important for a public figure to be some sort of positive role model. 
  4. Don't believe everything in the media, because the media can be bought: There are a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that the media will never reveal. There are so many half truths and mind games in the media, especially in politics.
  5. Even if you don't qualify for the job, go ahead and apply : Donald Trump was the least qualified for the POTUS position , from the stand point of political experience and diplomatic skills, but he got the job.....Now, would he perform at the job? That's another question all together.
  6. There is no 'refuge' anywhere: Like most of us immigrants, refuge is sought in your host countries because you believe the "grass is greener" there , you believe you are safer and have more opportunities. However, the truth is, all the countries immigrants usually look up to- USA, Canada, UK, France, etc- for refuge are realizing that these countries are not as perfect as they thought.  This year alone we have seen the effects of Brexit and the fall in the price of crude oil. Countries are shutting their doors on refugees and immigrants because of limited resources.
 People, please make the best of wherever you are, improve yourself and your community. Make God your refuge and sanctuary.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hey!!!!!



Hello Beautiful Peoples!
Anybody home?!.....* Clearing virtual cobweb and dust*
It's been a while, I know....Apologies. * blowing kisses*.
The past few months have been very busy and challenging- Lost my mum, Traveled to Nigeria for the funeral, Moved to another city, Back to new schools for the children....whew! I'm just catching my breath, literally.

...But hey, I am grateful to God for everything-There is always something to be grateful for, you know. I see every opportunity as a learning curve, growth and blessing opportunities. These past few months have helped me see life, family, friends in a new and different/better light.


My life is but a weaving between my God and me
I do not choose the colors; He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper-, and I the under-side.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reasons why
The dark threads are as needful in a skillful weaver’s hand
As the threads of gold and silver, in the pattern he has planned.- Grant Tuller

If today is the best day of your life, it might not last. Tonight might be an inch short of hopeless; it won’t last either. Whatever has brought you to this moment is only part of the story of your life and relationship. The rest is yet to come. Put all of it—dark thorns and shining threads—into God’s hands, and he will sustain you.
—Wayne Brouwer

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jump!!





Every year, around the turn of the year, as most do, I set aside time to reflect on the year that’s ending and to think about the year ahead. In preparing to cross over in to the New Year, I often take time to seek out wisdom from trusted sources, to glean some wisdom as I prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead.  This year, I happened upon a cross-over sermon titled "Forward Ever". 
Among the many thoughts shared in that sermon was an exhortation to identify and rid ourselves of "dumb things" that may exist in our lives. 
In essence, these are things/persons/habit/pursuits that are not/no longer beneficial to us. These are not necessarily evil things in the traditional sense. They may even be morally good or neutral things. What qualifies a thing as being “dumb” in this sense lies in its impact upon our lives/goals/aspirations at this point in time. In other words, these are things that draw or hold us back and prevent us from pursuing our goals with full devotion or that drain us of energy or resolve. They are leeches and parasites upon our will and strength and resources.  
Everyone comes to the end of a year with some regrets. We can all look back and identify missed opportunities or missteps. We can relate to making poor decisions or getting involved with projects, ventures and even relationships that did us more harm than good. When we come to that realization, the logical thing to do is to re-evaluate and move-on.  Unfortunately, we may lack the will power to do so, or procrastinate doing so till it is too late. 

An old story that is illustrative of this truth runs thus:
 If one attempts to place a healthy frog in hot water, the frog will jump out/away. It senses the danger and reacts instantly to preserve its own safety.
However, if one places that same frog in a pot of cold water and gradually heats the water up, the frog may adjust its body temperature and continue to do so until it is too late.  At that point, it has lost muscle strength and will die in a situation that it could have escaped from, had action been taken earlier.
What killed the frog?
Was it the temperature of the water, or the frog’s own complacency, procrastination and inaction?

This is very similar to the adjustments that people make to situations, relationships and challenges that have become chronic. Outsiders looking in wonder how a person could remain in an abusive relationship, or continue the same habits, or remain in the dead-end job for years. The answer is that adjustments have been made over time and now the individual feels stuck and unable to escape/change, or worse, has become comfortable with the situation.

So, in addition to setting goals and adjusting our priorities as we seek to move ahead this New Year, it is smart to take a thorough inventory of our lives: our priorities, commitments and relationships. Of course, we will need to adjust to people & situations, but we also need to be clear about what we need to jettison and when we need to move on. We will need to accept that some situations/relationships are irretrievably lost and the only healthy thing to do is to cut our losses and move on. And that takes courage.  If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually or mentally they will continue to do so.
Let's jump while we still have the strength!










Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking....


Welcome to the second half of this decade!
As we start this journey together, may our days be filled with laughter and peace . I pray for grace and wisdom for us all to climb the mountains, swim the oceans and have wings to soar high.
Be encouraged. Stand tall. You've got what it takes.
Happy 2016!!

My life is but a weaving between my God and me.
I do not choose the colors; He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper, and I the under-side.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reasons why
The dark threads are as needful in a skillful weaver’s hand
As the threads of gold and silver, in the pattern he has planned.
Poem by Grant Tuller

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What's Your Story?

....I am going to tell you about the months that I had anxiety over getting sick. On February 13, this year (yes, I remember the date). I got sick on a field trip. Later that day, I started to worry that I was going to be sick again, because I had gotten sick 3 times that day already. I had this same exact issue the previous year, but I think it was a different thing I was worrying about. 
Two months passed and I was still worrying the same thing! I remember that during the months that I was anxious, I wouldn't talk about anything else but this problem. I would cry almost everyday because I was so tired of worrying. I kept saying " I'm just so tired of this". But it didn't change anything. I would cry, complain, frown, and anything that was the opposite of happy.
But do you know what I didn't do? I didn't decide! I did not decide that I wan't going to worry anymore. it was like this would NEVER end. I tried everything my parents told me to do like : Deep breathing, distract my self with fun activities, writing down and repeating bible verses...everything!Nothing turned the worry off like a light switch.
I started listening to Joyce Meyer messages/sermons on YouTube , and that helped a little bit. I also  read one of her books ( Battlefield of the mind for kids). Sure enough, little by little the worry started to go away.
It took a HUGE a whole lot of bible verse confessions, deep breathing, walks AND deciding not to worry.
I am still learning that in EVERY circumstance I should trust God. I'm also learning that I have power over my thoughts and that I can chose my own thinking.
I am proud to say that after ALL those months, I have pretty much crossed over the finish line of worry and anxiety.

That, folks, is my 6th grader daughter's write-up for her God-story assignment a few weeks ago( A summary of a time in your life that God helped you). She gave me permission to share it here.:)
2015 has been a great year. It had it's ups and downs, no doubt, but we have our trophies and scars to show for making it this far.. And we are have what it takes to go into 2016.Amen!
I want you to think back from January of this year till now: What's your God-story?