Mending the Fences, One Picket or Barbed Wire At A Time…

Mending Fences

Mend Fences: To improve or repair a relationship that has been damaged by an argument or disagreement.

In recent weeks, I’ve shared how my life looked as I was growing up.  It feels so good to reminisce about the good times, but let’s face it, sometimes, there is an ugly truth that behind closed doors things are not always as they appear to be to outsiders.  When I was growing up, we were told that whatever happens at home, stays at home and that was a motto that we lived by every day.  My mother didn’t have to repeat it a million and one times because I got it the first time around.

Growing up, my sister, Pam, (who, by the way, is the middle child) and I were extremely close.  No one was ever going to pick on her except me (and, unfortunately, there was a time where I did a lot of that).  However, that job was reserved for me and me alone.

Image result for image of barbed wire fenceSadly, over the years, our relationship was pretty much dead except for when she came to town or the few phone calls here and there or the yearly Christmas cards that I would send her.  Our differences in lifestyles and lack of understanding and the unwillingness to agree to disagree got in the way of our relationshipour sisterhood.  I don’t know what happened or why it changed (I’m grateful that it did), but over the past year we have been as thick as thieves.  We share a lot about our lives, and even talk about the past — the good and the not so good.  We talk about the mental scars that we incurred as growing up.  Even though we have gotten over them, some of the scars remain; however, we don’t let them dictate our lives or the women we have become today.  She now calls herself my “little big sister” because she has more experience about some of life’s issues than I do.  Let’s just say, sometimes, I feel like I’ve been living under a rock as life passed me by.  What I’m good at, I’m really good at.  However, what I’m bad at…  Where she was daring, I was afraid and would only go so far because fear held me back.  We took separate paths and roads in life, but that’s what made us who we are today.

Bonding:  The formation of a close relationship (as between a mother and child or between a person and an animal), especially through frequent or constant association.

When my oldest daughter, Gabrielle, was growing up, she and I never had a bonding for whatever reason.  As a child, she wasn’t the huggy, feely type, and quite honestly, as her mom, I didn’t know what to do with that, so, sadly, I did absolutely nothing.  I know it sounds terrible and some of you may be thinking, “Wow, what kind of mother does that?”.  I would probably think the same thing if the shoe were on the other foot; however, I always want to be honest with you, my readers, with the hope that someone might benefit from my experiences  Trust me, not having a relationship with my daughter is one of the biggest regrets of my life.  After all, I was the parent and she was the child.  It was my responsibility to fix the relationship.  Whenever, I went to her school to volunteer, she would hide behind her friends or act as though she didn’t see me.  Sometimes, I would call her out; other times, I ignored the situation.  However, I was really hurt.  My other two children were the polar opposite; they wanted everyone to know I was their mother and wanted me to meet and get to know all of their friends.  The relationship I had with them was so easy, so I let Gabrielle slip through the cracks.  Unfortunately, I don’t think either one is us knew what to do with the other back then; however, today, I can say that I thank God for growth and maturity on both of our parts.  Hence, 20 something years later, we now have a relationship for which I’m extremely grateful.  Do we talk everyday?  No, we don’t.  However, when we do get together we have very meaningful, thought provoking conversations, and thoroughly enjoy being in one another’s company.  I told her the other day that I was proud of the woman she was becoming.  She asked me why, and I spelled it all out.  She smiled and said, “Thank you”.  I texted her the next day and told her that I took pleasure in our time together at her place, and she said anytime and she would cook dinner for me.  Woohoo!  I never turn down food, LOL!  This would never have happened in the past.  I’m really thankful because some relationships are never mended and, when people pass on, the  relationship remains broken.  Gabrielle or “Gabby,” as people call her, has become a very strong woman.  She doesn’t take any stuff and can be quite tough, when necessary.  She has come into her own and has now taken her rightful place as the big/oldest sister, and, might I add, she is wearing it well!  She has come to her younger sister’s aide quite a bit lately, and has even helped her brother in his time of need.

I don’t mention Gabrielle as often as I do my other two children, but it doesn’t mean that I love her any less.  I’m pleased to put the spotlight on her today, and I am mighty proud to be her mom.

If you don’t have a great relationship or a relationship at all with your family members, it’s not too late, even if it seems as though it’s been a lifetime.  I’m a living testament of that.  We wish for things and we pray for things to be different, but I don’t think we always expect the change to come.

If you’re missing the relationship that you once had or the bonding is gone, reach out.  You don’t have to be stubborn.  Take the high road, as a counselor that I used to see would always say.  If everyone leaves it up to the other party to resolve whatever differences that may have led to the tearing down of the fence, things will never be resolved.  However, if you’ve reached out a number of times and the person doesn’t respond or isn’t interested in rebuilding the relationship, sadly, there is nothing you can do.  I have a cousin that was like another sister to me.  A number of years ago, she disappeared out of my life.  I reached out to her via telephone, letters, and cards.  About four years ago, I was given her current phone number.  I called her and we talked and cried about how we missed each other.  She vowed she would stay in touch, but she hasn’t.  I reached out to her again roughly two years ago, and she said some things that I didn’t expect and weren’t true; however, they were her truth.  At that point, I knew there was nothing else humanly possible that I could do.  However, I miss her terribly.  The funny thing is we had no argument.  Everything was going extremely well, and then one day like a puff of smoke, she was gone — without warning.

I’d like to give a special thanks to one of my best friends who came up with the topic.  As a result of me sharing things with him, he saw things that I didn’t regarding the growth and rebuilding of my family.  However, as he broke it all down, I had what Oprah would call an “Aha” moment.

If you have topics that you would like to see covered, please email me at

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


Image result for red heart with crown

P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.


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Growing up, I had two favorite uncles (one on my paternal side of the family and one on the maternal side), and a favorite aunt.  As a kid, you don’t know that you could potentially hurt your other family members feelings because of your “favoritism”.  You just knew you loved your favorites to pieces, and that they meant the absolute world to you.

67357013_492385934890477_3947146769762091008_nMy paternal uncle was my favorite uncle because he took time with me.  He talked to me about life and some of the do’s and don’t.  Even though I hadn’t entered that arena of life yet, he was preparing me for what was to come.  There were times when he would ride me on his back up and down my grandmother’s stairs and run through the house with me on his back, even though he would have been in major trouble with his mother had she known of the shenanigans that went on behind her back.  It was the best fun ever as I squealed with delight every single time he did this.  He taught me how to ride my bike for which I’ll always be grateful.  He was even supposed to teach me how to swim but, unfortunately, he was murdered before he had the opportunity to do so.  This happened in February of 1972, and I was absolutely devastated.  I cried and cried, and cried some more.  I can remember saying why couldn’t it have happened to someone else in my family and, at that time, I didn’t really care who it was.  I was 11 1/2 years old, and I felt like the world had stopped — that it had come to a screeching halt.  How was I to deal with the fact that he was no longer with us?  Even though, my uncle was put to rest over 40 years ago, it still has an impact on me as I miss him, and occasionally wonder what our relationship would be like today.  It might sound strange, but I can still remember the outfit that I wore to his funeral as if it were a few short years ago.  I believe I mentioned my Uncle Larry in a previous blog; he was the one who was so proud to show off his niece (me) that, when he played the guitar with Chuck Berry in Atlantic City (before it was a casino; I was only 2), he had my grandmother bring me to the stage.  Being 2-years-old, I was absolutely terrified and cried something awful, from what I’m tol

Then, there was my maternal uncle — Oronde (couldn’t find any pictures of him).  I was a bit older when he became my favorite.  He used to take us rollerskating every Wednesday at Painters Mill back in the day.  He loved to have fun, and wanted us to be a part of it.  He used to also go camping, which I never wanted to be a part of — I’m not an outside kind of gal, LOL!  He was also the type who wanted to get into your head to find out what made you tick, and if it didn’t make sense he would tell you as much.  Unfortunately, he is also no longer with us either.

One of my paternal aunts was my favorite aunt.  The funny thing is she used to live 100’s 67430500_2452284328325369_641048736788643840_n of miles away, but we had that connection.  I could talk to her about anything, and she would listen and advise.  As I got older, and my situations changed, she would always tell me that she was praying for me because she wanted me to be happy and wanted the best for me.  I remember a time she told me that she’s glad that we didn’t live near each other because we’d both be in trouble because of our personalities because it would be on when we had enough of people’s foolishness.  We laughed about that as we shared many things.  Sadly, her health is declining now that she’s in her mid-80’s.  I have to admit it’s extremely difficult to see someone who was once so alive and vibrant seemingly waste away right before your very eyes.  Even though we know our loved ones are getting older, as are we, we never process the fact that one day their health will begin to fail and it will be their time to cross over.

As I mentioned my favorites, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love my other family members; they are all wonderful human beings and I love every single one of them — I just had my picks.

Some parents even have their favorite child or children, but try their best not to because they don’t want the other kids to feel like they aren’t loved as equally or at all.  In all fairness, though, sometimes you spend more time with one child than the others because they might have health or behavioral issues that dictate that you to do so.  However, you try not to have your other children feel neglected, even though they oftentimes do.  You honestly love all of your children, just in different ways.

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t have a favorite and are able to love everyone equally, and that’s really good.  I haven’t mastered that as yet.  I don’t think my favorites actually knew they were or the “special” role they played in my life.  Let’s just say, “I kept it on the down low”.  Do I, personally, think it’s okay to have a favorite — absolutely because it’s nothing wrong with sharing and letting people know how much you love them and what they mean to you.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


Image result for red heart with crown

P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

The Struggle Is Real…

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What can I tell you – I LOVE FOOD — ALL KINDS OF FOOD!  Food is definitely one of my best friends.

Image result for chocolateWhen we’re young, most of us have a very high metabolism and are able to eat all sorts of foods and goodies, and still keep our “girlish figures”, LOL (I was Olive Oyl in the comic strip and cartoon, “Popeye”.  The only thing I had were two feet that were suspended from this “extremely” thin body.  I was miserable every single day because no matter how much food I consumed, I couldn’t gain weight to save my life.  When I graduated high school, I only weighed 102 pounds.  Then, not long after graduation, I had issues with my stomach and was hospitalized for a week wherein I lost ten pounds.  Well, can you imagine what I looked like — nothing but pure skin and bones.  I was so thin that the doctors at the hospital thought my parents weren’t feeding me.  My father wanted to give them a piece of his mind but my mother advised against it since I was in the hospital alone.

I finally gained weight — a whopping 115 pounds.  During that time, I couldn’t eat during Image result for images of someone gorging on food the summer because it was too hot, so I only ate fruit and drank juice, so I would lose about ten pounds every single summer.

I didn’t really begin to gain weight until I was 30 years old.  I was the perfect weight for my height at 150 pounds.  You couldn’t tell me that I hadn’t arrived  I was certainly ready for the runway, LOL!  When my stomach would become a little “larger” than normal, I would exercise immediately for weeks on end to get it back down.  I was serious about keeping my weight down back then.

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Sadly, there came a time when I topped the scale at 205 pounds (I’m just talking about myself; some people are fine with their current weight; everyone is different).  I couldn’t believe it.  It seemed like it happened overnight.  What was I thinking as I was having to buy larger clothes?  It didn’t matter.  I continued to eat and shop — for larger clothes, that is.

A number of years ago, one of my friends and former coworkers had a “Biggest Loser” contest, and that helped me shed 27 pounds and put my 8 pounds away from my goal weight.  Did I make it there?  Absolutely not!  After feeling really, really good about myself and loving the way I looked in my former clothes that I had outgrown (I don’t ever get rid of timeless pieces), I felt like I could eat a little more and a little more, and then a little more.  What do you think happened?  I gained most of my weight back.  Thank God, I never reached 205 pounds again, but I wasn’t too terribly far from it.  How did I allow this to happen “again”?  Why couldn’t I remain disciplined in my eating?  The only thing I can say is that, “old habits die hard”.

Several years ago, my place of employment had a contest wherein I was able to shed some of the weight and inches that I had put on.  In fact, I lost the most all over inches and actually won in that category.  I was excited, again, about my weight loss journey.

Well, history repeated itself “again”.  I put on some of the weight and regained some of the Image result for images of snacksinches.  I want to be disciplined in my eating habits and make exercise a regular part of my daily routine.  However, I make excuses for not tearing myself out of bed extra early in the morning or walking in the evening when I get off work.  I just can’t seem to peel the covers off me.  Perhaps, I need someone to shove me out as I hit the snooze button a million and one times on some mornings.  My 4-year-old granddaughter has more discipline than I do.  She went for her annual visit with her pediatrician, and I was told that she should not gain any more weight but rather we should limit the amount of snacks and juices that we give her because she’s in the 90th percentile for age as far as weight is concerned.  I had no idea my granddaughter was even paying attention until the following week when I picked her up from daycare.  The daycare provider told me that my granddaughter told said, “I can’t have a lot of chips.  I can only eat a little.  My doctor said so.”  I don’t know any 4-year-old who would be honest about that.  I was shocked and pleased at the same time.  It has now been several weeks, and she still says that.  Wow!  Imma need her to help me, LOL!

The struggle is real.  However, we have to start somewhere.  Many people fail because they set unrealistic goals for themselves, i.e., “I’m going to lose 40 pounds in two months. I’m going toto exercise for an hour each day.  I’m going to decrease my caloric intake.  I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to”.

The weight journey can be difficult, but it’s not impossible as I know first hand.  However, if you don’t stay on top of what got you there in the first place, i.e., losing your focus and momentum, you’ll be right back where you started; therefore, finding yourself disappointed.  Life, sometimes, has a way of getting in the way of things — children, jobs, spouse, illness, etc.; however, we have to learn to take better care of ourselves.  Sometimes, it’s okay to put your needs before the needs of others, and, no that’s not being selfish at all.  You’re just putting everyone on notice that you need time to do “you”.

Getting on the path of your weight loss journey, and healthy lifestyle really is mind over matter.  How much do we really want it?  It’s so much easier said than done, trust me, I know.  My metabolism has come to a “screeching” halt (okay, it’s really nonexistent) as I’m in the throes of that “dreaded” menopause, so diet alone doesn’t work; I have to exercise at least 4 to 5 times a week to see any type of difference which I haven’t done in about two months now.

Image result for image of stomach hanging over top of your pantsI saw my doctor a month ago, for abdominal pain and bloating.  When I told her I had bloating, she looked at me and said, “How do you know it’s not fat”.  I laughed out loud because I certainly wasn’t expecting that response.  However, she was extremely serious.  Then, she looked through my records and saw that I had a previous complaint of bloating a number of years ago.  Then, and only then did she agree with me.

I “live to eat,” when it should be in the reverse “eat to live”.  There is a group on FaceBook, “Eat to Live, Not Live to Eat Conscious,” that one my best friends started; she includes all types of tips and gives great information on healthy eating.

There are many times that I know I’m full, and just continue eating because it tastes “sooo” good.  I tell myself just one more bite which turns into another and another and then another until I’ve practically consumed what I told myself not to.

Realistically, I know that I’m going to have to “make” time to get my exercise in and not view it as a chore or something that I can afford to do without because I really can’t.  I don’t want to gain all the weight back that I lost because now that I’m older, it takes a whole lot longer to shed even one pound.

If you are like me and “struggle” to keep the weight off, figure out where you went wrong and what triggers you to “fall off the wagon” and, then, correct the issue.  Be bigger and stronger than what is preventing you to be or remain successful.  Don’t beat yourself up when you miss or don’t make your mark.  Do better.  Get back on track.  You got this!

Me, at my heaviest weight — 205 pounds…
Me, at 178 pounds…

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


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P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.



66774551_1168119210027813_2233124913630150656_nI am the older sibling of three children, and growing up I took that role extremely seriously.  Nothing, and I mean nothing was going down on my watch because I knew that I would be the fall guy.  No way was I ever going to allow that to happen.

In my article, “Summertime,” I shared how my sister, who is the closest in age to me (nearly three years separates us), and  I spent the entire summers with my paternal grandmother.  She was a wonderful woman, but someone that you didn’t want to tick off.  Trust me when I tell you, I never made it on her “bad” list (LOL!).  During that time, she worked a few days a week, typically in the mornings.  Since I was the oldest sibling, I was left “in charge”.   When she told us not to answer the door, even if it was someone we knew, I took that literally.  One of my uncles came by, and I told him that I couldn’t let him in.  He wasn’t happy about it because he was a relative, but I had no intention of incurring her wrath.  Another one of her rules was not to answer the phone unless it was her calling, and there was a special code that she used.  All of these instructions were set in place for safety reasons, and I adhered to every one of them, and made sure that my sister did too.  After all, I was the “boss” or so I thought.  I was very familiar with all the do’s and don’ts, and even though I was 9 and my sister was 6, I didn’t play because I wasn’t going to be the one getting in trouble:  a) for something I didn’t do, and b) because I allowed my sister to do things that I knew were wrong.

There was one incident wherein my sister was doing something she had no business doing (I can’t even remember what it was now); however, I’m sure it wasn’t that serious.  I told her to stand in the corner on one foot for five minutes (keep in mind she was 6 and I was 9).  She followed my orders, but told my grandmother when she got home.  I didn’t get in trouble per se, but my grandmother let me know that in no uncertain terms was I her mother, and I shouldn’t have done that.  There were other instances wherein, I took command of the situation with my sister.  However, as she got older, she would tell me herself that, “I wasn’t her mother”.  I guess that was the beginning of me wanting to be in “control of everything and everybody.”  I had a very strong personality at a young age, and was an absolute CONTROL FREAK (I have been reformed, though, by this thing called life).

Then, came along my youngest sister who is 3 months shy of being 15 years younger than I am.  I was definitely the “boss” of her.  My mother would make me take her everywhere I went (against my many protests, of course) to keep me out of trouble.  There were times that I didn’t mind, but then there were also times I resented it too because this wasn’t my child so why should she have been my responsibility, I questioned.  The cool thing, though, is that when she was 5, she told me she wanted to be just like me (now she’s probably saying, I’m glad I’m not like her, LOL!).  She would torment my sister who is the middle child, but was relatively a good listener when I told her to do something.  One time, when she was around 5, she stole some candy from the store.  I marched her back over there and made her return it.  She was embarrassed but guess what?  We never had that problem again.  I loved her enough to teach her that’s not what we do — after all, she was my baby sis and I wanted her to do the right thing.

History kind of repeated itself with my three kids.  I watched as my oldest daughter “attempted” to be the big sister.  Unfortunately, her siblings weren’t having it.  They had no desire to listen to her because she was smaller than they were (especially, my middle child).  As I watched them grow up, I encouraged them to be supportive of each other.  I told them at the end of the day, all they had were each other because friends come and go.  They couldn’t understand it then, but I have watched my two daughters (who used to fight like cats and dogs, physically and verbally) form a bond — a sisterly bond.  In fact, they now talk to each other regularly as they are building their own separate lives.  All of my kids are  now adults and managed to weather the storm of childhood without killing each other.  Whew!  It was certainly touch and go there for a minute.  However, I’m sure most parents deal with the “She touched me, he looked at me, that’s mine, I’m not sharing,” “he hit me,” and calling for “mom” at least a million times a day to the point where you want to pack your things and run away from home.  The cool thing, though, is there is nothing like a bond between siblings.  I remember when my kids used to cover for each other; it was a code they didn’t break — no matter what.  My youngest daughter would even take my son’s punishments for him (I would make him write like a million times, which he hated; she loved writing and their handwriting was similar enough that she did it for him).  Now, that was either love or sheer craziness, LOL!

Now, onto the third generation of siblings — my 4-year-old granddaughter clearly thinks she’s the “boss” of her 5-month-old brother.  The poor fella has no idea what she has in store for him, LOL!  Recently, she put him in her doll stroller, strapped him in (she knows all about my safety rules), and pushed him around the apartment (don’t worry, he was safe).  She thinks she should feed him all the time and make his bottles.  She loves being the older sister and even changed his name to match her initials “JM” (is that smart or what).

Fast forward, one of my sisters and I are closer than we’ve been in years and I have to admit that it feels good to be able to “discuss” our adult issues, “laugh” about goofy things, and “reminisce” about the “good old days”.

If you haven’t spoken to your sibling or siblings in a while, give them a call, schedule an outing or drop them a line to let them know you’re thinking about them (this is something I need to do more often; life is short and family is important).

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Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,



P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.








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School’s out, and most kids probably get to sleep in a little later, which is something they look forward to all year long, particularly, during the last few weeks of school.  Everyone gets a little antsy and testy then because it seems like the end is taking forever.  They make plans to hang out with their friends, and just have lazy days because they feel as though they’ve earned it by working hard for the past nine months or so.  Some families plan vacations while others have staycations and schedule occasional day trips with their family.

When I was growing up, my sister and I used to spend the entire summer with my Image result for images of apple piepaternal grandmother.  We couldn’t wait to go because we knew we were going to have “big” fun.  My grandmother was one of those people who felt that children should be well rounded, and she made sure of that.  We were always up and down the highway going someplace or another.  She took us to the movies, museums, the theatre, amusement parks, fairs, malls, etc.  My great-grandmother would often save quarters for my sister and I in the change card holder so that we would have spending money.

Image result for images of lemonadeOn one of our trips to Atlantic City (before it was changed over to a casino), we saw the dancing chicken.  You put a coin in the machine and the chicken moved around like it was dancing.  My aunt couldn’t stop laughing (cackling, LOL!); she was laughing so hard that it made me laugh as well.  That was the absolute highlight of our trip that day.

Another memorable event, was when the Columbia Mall first opened in our area, and my Image result for images of hot dogsgrandmother took us there for the very first time.  She didn’t have a lot of money, but we always had to stop and eat (hence, food is one of my best friends until this very day, LOL!)  This particular time, we stopped at the hot dog stand.  I had never had a hot dog with everything but decided to go for it.  What a real treat!  I truly had everything (sauerkraut, cheese, chili, mustard, ketchup, relish, onion and whatever else they had back then) — my bread was so wet and soggy from all of the toppings, but it didn’t stop me from eating it.  That was the best hot dog I had ever eaten in my entire life.

My Grandmother Fannie was big on movie going, and we probably saw every kid movie that premiered.  She also loved taking in the theatre, and we saw a number of theatrical shows.  In fact, she had taken us to a performance (can’t remember what it was), and Richard Roundtree was walking around upstairs as I went to the bathroom.  He was so close that I could have reached out and touched him.  I wanted to say something to him so bad, but my fear and shyness kept me from doing anything about it other than going to the restroom which is what I was doing upstairs in the first place.

Image result for images of icecream trucksOn hot days, it was nothing like have a Root beer float or a slushie (that’s before they became a thing).   We had buckets that we put in the freezer.  Once they got cold enough, we poured our drinks in there and stirred.  Nothing like a cold drink on a hot summer’s day.  There were also times that we got an extra treat when the ice cream truck came around.  Some of you may remember this slogan “I scream.  You scream.  We all scream for ice cream”.  

When we weren’t traveling up and down the road, my sister and I played jacks, rode our bikes, played with our Barbie dolls as well as paper dolls.  I was very competitive back then and when my sister would lose at any game we played, I would gloat and stick out my chest and walk around like a proud turkey.  LOL!

As goofy kids, we’d do stupid stuff, while my grandmother was driving, such as turning around and making faces at the people in the cars behind us (kids better not even consider doing that today).  We’d randomly pick numbers from the phone book, and play on the phone asking people were their refrigerators running.  One time, I got the bright idea to ask for this lady’s husband because his name was the one listed.  I said something silly like I was his girlfriend.  Her response was, “My husband died a number of years ago”.  I was so startled, that I immediately hung up.  Guess what, they cured me; I never played on the phone again.

Honestly, I wished I could go back to those times of innocence and playfulness.  If I could turn back the hands of time, I think I would have enjoyed them even more.  As children, we are always think about “being an adult”, and have no clue what will be awaiting us when we reach that status.  My granddaughter, who is only 4, says she can’t wait to be a grown up.  I told her to have fun playing with her friends and doing things that 4-year-olds should do because she had the rest of her life to be a grown up.  I assured her that kids should be having a boat load of fun, particularly at her age.

What are some of your most memorable moments from your childhood?

Image 6-26-19 at 1.50 PM (1)
My cousin, Ann (left); my sister, Pam (right); and I (middle).


Image 6-26-19 at 1.50 PM
My cousin, Stevie; my sister, Pam (half of the body); and I (have no idea what she was doing, LOL!)



My sister, and I (she’s going to kill me, LOL!)


As always, remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.


It Takes a Village…

Image result for it takes a village


About three months ago, my son did something extremely foolish which affected his Photo of It Takes A Village - La Mesa, CA, United Statesmental health.  He was plagued with this day in and day out.  Not only was it wearing him out, but me as well.  There were many days he would call me and ask me to pray for him as well as nights when he would ask if he could sleep in my room.

We had many conversations about what was going on with him.  It came to a point where we were both angry with one another:  him because he felt I wasn’t supportive enough, and me because I was ticked offHis decision messed with my comfortable life, which had finally become peaceful, and I was happier than I had been in years.  I felt like “How dare you rain on my parade because of your selfish behavior?”  Now, let me say this — my son is no longer a child (he’s still my child, though) because he has reached 21 years of age; however, he still wants and needs his mama.

Image result for it takes a villageHe talked to his friends, and they helped him as best they could.  He went to the emergency room on numerous visits, and even had appointments with a physician to try and get to the root of his issues, so that he could manage his day to day living.

I would ask him the same questions over and over again, hoping that they would eventually jar his memory so that we could figure out what was really happening, even though, I had pretty much figured out the culprit that caused his situation.  He would then say, “Are you a doctor?  You don’t know what you’re talking about.  I don’t need you to keep asking me the same questions over and over again; I just need you to listen.”  At that point, I tuned out.  My thought process was that if he didn’t think I had some of the answers because I didn’t have an M.D. behind my name, then obviously he didn’t really need my help; this angered him even more.  I thought to myself “Oh, well.”

One day, I had an epiphany and realized why I couldn’t be supportive in the way in which he needed.  Now, mind you, I didn’t totally abandon him.  I listened.  I got on his nerves, and I prayed behind the scenes.  I was not, however, going to walk him by his hand as he made the choice to do something he knew full well he shouldn’t have because of a prior experience several years ago.  28468641_1626614514073301_3703910466251574713_nI had to be reminded that I had done some pretty outlandish things a time or two in my life, and my family and friends listened to me despite my poor choices. At that moment, I got it and was able to let go of the anger that I had been holding onto.

One Saturday night he came into my room to talk.  I asked him the same questions that I had previously.  He got upset again.  I told him that he needed to leave my room because he was yelling. He didn’t listen, of course, but did eventually calm down; then, we were able to have a decent conversation.  Two scriptures popped into my head which I looked up for reference and sent to him via text message, so that he could refer to them on his own time.  I told him he had one of two choices — he could either fight for his life to overcome the situation or succumb to it.  I spoke to him with authority — in fact, at some point, I didn’t even recognize my own voice.  He asked me why I hadn’t said these things to him in the past, and I just shrugged my shoulders.  Before my very eyes, I witnessed his breakthrough.  I knew the exact moment that it happened because he lied across the floor in my room and was very peaceful, even his demeanor was peaceful.  He finally went into his room to go to bed.

The next morning, we talked and I told him he had a breakthrough and he agreed.  I had to change my thinking and get over my anger in order to really be able to assist him.  I had to look at myself and be completely honest about how I felt and what I was thinking.  Was it easy?  Absolutely not!

People at my church were praying for him and there was a couple who took him under
their wing.  I believe he was their assignment as they had left and come back just at the right time.

I’m so grateful for my son’s release.  Our adult children are going to do some very unwise things as they are still learning.  Even though, they drive us absolutely bananas with some of their negative behaviors (and yes, some of it still stems from peer pressure), we have to support them, even when we want to distance ourselves and let them figure it out.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times when, we as the parents, have to cut the apron strings and let them hit rock bottom, but we have to know when.  Doing so too early can clip their wings so that they are unable to soar.  Sometimes, we need the patience of Job as it can be quite challenging to be the parent of a young adult who is being rebellious, disrespectful and a know it all.  However, we have to keep in mind they still need us.  There are people out there who are just waiting to take them in and destroy them because they know they are looking for love from anyone as they continue their search for acceptance.  We must continue to show them love (sometimes tough love).  Don’t focus so much on what you see them doing currently, but concentrate on what you are claiming them to be.  I don’t care how bleak or looks or how dim the light is, there is hope.  However, don’t go along with the negative behaviors; stand firm and be consistent and persistent.  Trust me, they have not forgotten the morals and ethics that you’ve instilled in them.  LOVE them back to life.  DON’T GIVE UP NOW!


Love ya,


Remember, you don’t have to fight this alone:

P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

What About the Children?

Kids, Children, Doodle, Sketch, Drawing, Watercolor

My friend came up with the topic “What about the children” because there is just so much happening in our society concerning our children and youth.  They are dealing with some real issues and because of that, sadly, some aren’t even allowed to enjoy their childhood.  Kids are being bullied and because they are so tormented, they choose to end their lives by committing suicide — some at the tender age of 9 years old.  When I was that age, I was having the time of my life playing with my Barbie dolls, dressing and undressing them.  I even had paper dolls which was a big thing when I was growing up.  I played outside with my friends.  I played jacks, and even hopscotch was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, in today’s society, some kids have never had the distinct pleasure of being able to just have “fun”.

It seems that our kids, our most precious gems, are under attack.  Every time you turn on the TV or click on any app on social media, you learn that something tragic has happened to someones child — they’ve been beaten, murdered, raped, molested, etc.  I often ask the question through my tears, “What in the world is going on?”  How can we protect our kids?  When they attend school, it’s supposed to be a pleasant experience as they grow and mature, right?  They are supposed to be able to go outside and play with their friends, right?  Sadly, it’s not always like this.  Things have certainly changed tremendously (and not for the better, as far as I’m concerned) from when I was growing up.

dv image 20Tons of children are in the foster care system because of neglect, abuse, etc. by those who were supposed to protect them.  Family members are sexually abusing kids who were left in their care.

For the kids who are being bullied in school, they are too afraid to alert the teachers or office staff or their parents and, unfortunately, some commit suicide because of the pressure.  So, now, we have parents who will forever have a hole in their hearts.  They feel terrible because they had no idea their child was so upset; therefore, they were unable to help them.  They couldn’t keep them safe and blame themselves for not seeing the signs.

How many times have we heard that children have been missing and, unfortunately, most of them are not found alive?  Every now and again, we hear a happy ending and I cry tears of joy.

How many times have children been brought into the ER with broken bones and covered You Want To Save The Trees, Animals, The World. What About Saving The Children? The Ugly Truth About Child Abuse  in bruises?  How many times have teachers come out of their pockets to help feed children and/or clothe them.  You have children who are raising themselves because the mom may be a single mother and has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.  Also, there are kids who are raising themselves because the mom has a habit that she can’t kick.

Back in the day, families took care of the children when the parents couldn’t.  That’s not so much the case these days because some of the grandparents are so young themselves and are trying to get their life.

So what happens to the children?  Who is there for them?  Who will be there to help these scared children who don’t know what to do?

Children are being taken away from us when they should be having the time of their lives.  When I was growing up, we played outside all the time.  There were no cell phones or video games to play.  Now, even though you want your kids to have fun, you’re terrified to let them go out for fear that some tragedy might strike.

The million dollar question is what can we do to keep our kids safe?  In my opinion, it’s imperative that we cover them in prayer every single day.  We have to teach them about safety, and encourage them to tell an adult if they are being bullied or sexually assaulted.  We have to reassure them  it’s not snitching.  We have to teach our children when they are very young about appropriate and inappropriate touches and behaviors.  I started talking to my granddaughter about it before she turned 3.

Also, we have to, as much as we can, monitor our kids social media activity.  When my daughters were in middle school, they had a MySpace account that I knew nothing about.  I was in the dark ages and hadn’t even heard of MySpace.  Their aunt found it and forced them to delete it.  When I allowed my youngest daughter to have a FaceBook account, the agreement was that I would have her password, so that I could see what type of activity was going on.  As far as my oldest daughter goes, I found her password and would log in from time to time to see what she was doing.  My son, who is the youngest of the three, made an account and I decided to hack into it and have a little bit of fun with him by saying, “This is your mom.  You know you’re not to have an account.  Delete it now”!  It’s impossible to watch everything our children are doing because there is so much going on.

You turn on the TV and there are a million reality shows with so much profanity being spewed out of people’s mouths that it is totally unbelievable.  My kids lost the TV’s in their room when they were in elementary school because they were busted watching Flavor of Love in the middle of the night; they were never allowed to have TV’s in their rooms again.

We have to encourage our children.  We have to support our children.  We have to educate our children.  Most importantly, we have to shower our children with lots of love because if they don’t get it at home, they’ll seek it elsewhere which could certainly lead them down the path of destruction.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all unite and come up with a way to protect and keep our children safe?


Image result for images of cartoon children



Love ya,


P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

He Loves Me…He Loves Me Not…

He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not

Image result for image of he loves me he loves me not

A fair amount of girls that I grew up with used to pull flower petals with the hopes that the last petal would land on “he loves me”.  We felt for sure that meant our “little” boyfriends really loved us.  We were young and in elementary school, therefore, we had no idea or concept of what love really meant outside of those flower petals.  I have to admit that some of the girls took this seriously, and  got more than a little upset when they were left with “he loves me not”.  Reflecting back on those days, I now see how funny it was that we believed the petals had a real bearing on our relationships.

Fast forward past teenage years and middle age, one can still ask the question “Does heImage result for he loves me he loves me not love me or does he love me not”?  That’s always the million dollar question every female asks herself and, perhaps, even her friends because she might be afraid to ask her partner.  We always want to know (as we should) if the person we’re involved with has the same feelings we do or if they have feelings for us at all.  Quite honestly, it’s a fair question — but just how do we measure whether or not “he loves us”?

I had the occasion to talk to two different women on two separate days about their relationship with their respective partners.  Ironically, both of them are the tender age of “26,” and neither one of them knew the other had spoken with me.

Image result for he loves me he loves me notOne young lady’s boyfriend broke up with her for a brief moment (lapse in judgment according to both of them) because he felt he really had nothing to offer her due to his perception that she truly had it “going on”.  He actually thought that he didn’t measure up to her and that she deserved so much more.  His girlfriend is established — has a stable job, is buying her own home, has a car, etc., and is currently making more money than him.  He felt inferior to her because he is still trying to put his life together, and figure out exactly what it is that he wants to do with the next 100 years.  Of course, she was absolutely devastated as she didn’t see this coming — there wasn’t even the slightest hint.  She cried about it because she loved this man, even though they’ve been together for less than a year.  They talked about it, and she made some stipulations on their relationship, effective immediately.  What he didn’t seem to realize is that none of that mattered to her.  She loved him and he had told her that he loved her as well.  She was well aware of what she was bringing to the table, but cared about him enough to be in a relationship because she felt he was working towards his goal, and she knew that, ultimately, he would be making more money than she.  So the question was “Does he really love me.  How could I be dumped without first having a conversation about how he was feeling”?  She felt as though a discussion should have been had, so that she could have reassured him that in the grand scheme of things none of that mattered because she loved him.  “He loves me, he loves me not”.

The other young lady’s situation was totally different.  She has been with her guy for a Image result for he loves me he loves me notgood while.  He has her on an emotional roller coaster — one minute he wants her, and the next moment he is telling her to find someone else because she deserves better than him.  She, of course, loves him like there is no tomorrow since they have many years of history together.  She is beginning to question his love for her.  She wants to know “If he truly loves her how can he be so on and off again”.  She is in a quandary because her head and her heart are telling her something totally different.  In her head, she knows that she needs to move on for her mental well being; however, her heart won’t comply with her head — in other words, the two aren’t in alignment as yet.  “He loves me — he loves me not”.

Image result for he loves me he loves me notNow, just because your man is not always telling you that he loves you and is not the kind who gushes over you 24/7 nor is he the mushy type, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.  Yes, women want to hear it sometimes; however, as the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words”.  Does he treat you with respect?  Does he listen to you?  Is he compassionate?  Does he make you feel like you’re the only woman in the world? Does he look at you with love (not lust) in his eyes?  Does he take a real interest in what’s going on in your life?  If you answered yes to some or all of the questions (which is a very small list), then this is your man showing you just how much you mean to him.

Women have kicked good men to the curb because their guy didn’t tell them that he loved them like a thousand times a day.  They couldn’t associate his actions with how he truly felt about them, which is unfortunate.

At the end of the day, no one can tell you whether or not your man really loves you or is

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just going through the motions.  I will say this — nine times out of ten, you will definitely know if he’s not that into you.  If you are unsure, and are driving yourself crazy about it, ask your partner.  He may feel that he is showing you (and more than likely he is); therefore, he thinks you should already know.  Some guys, may be a little sensitive in this area and take offense because they are doing everything in their power to show you. However, the flip side of the coin is that, if you’re anything like me, you hate to assume anything.  I had a friend tell me they thought they were showing me and in all actuality they were, but I was afraid.  I wasn’t used to being shown how someone truly felt about me, but I have to admit it feels mighty doggone good!

Sadly, sometimes, we find ourselves stuck in dead end relationships with someone that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt doesn’t love us and at some point, we’ve fallen out of love with them.  We’re afraid to move on or are afraid to be alone or are afraid of what people may think or are afraid to hurt our partners feelings or are afraid we can’t make it financially, etc.  However, we owe it to ourselves to be happy.  Quite honestly, it’s okay to be alone — that doesn’t mean we’re lonely; these are two different things.  I was alone for a long time, and had to realize that it wasn’t the end of the world. Yes, I wanted to be in a relationship, but this time around I told myself I wasn’t going to just settle for anything to be with someone, and was going to wait until Mr. Right came along.  I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me, and I want to live them out in happiness.  I don’t expect things to be perfect, but right — it has to be the right fit.  Ladies if he’s not the one, walk away.  Don’t waste years of your time because you can never get them back.  Trust me I know what that feels like because I’ve traveled that road.  Love yourself enough not to be desperate to hold on.  At the end of the day, I don’t want to be left wondering whether “he loves me or loves me not,” and neither should you.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

When You Have Trust Issues…

FBI Director Comey: History Justifies Cynicism and Distrust from African Americans

TRUST:  Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.


DISTRUST:  Doubt the honesty or reliability of; regard with suspicion.


During the course of our lifetime, we have trusted and distrusted people.  When we are growing up, we trust our parents implicitly.  We trust them to feed, clothe, house, love, nurture, encourage and support us.  We even trust that they will not just take care of our necessities but our desires as well.  Also, we are confident that our parents will be there to catch us when we fall; therefore, we never doubt it and we believe in their ability to fix all of our mistakes as they kiss our “booboos” of life.  This is the foundation of us learning to trust.

As we grow, we develop friendships and relationships with our peers — some turn out to be lifetime friends like the one that I have with my best friend (46 years and counting).  Some friendships don’t work out because we outgrow them while others don’t work out because of the distrust factor; perhaps, we were lied to/lied on or stolen from or talked about, etc.  Some of the hurt caused is like a slap in the face and a punch in the gut at the same time.  The pain is devastating and, in some cases, earth shattering.  This is the moment you begin to distrust nearly everyone and everything.

In one of my previous relationships, I “learned” how to distrust as I was on the receiving Distrust1end of it time and time again.  I was lied to about almost everything.  The saying that the person is innocent until proven guilty definitely didn’t apply as this person was guilty until proven innocent, in my mind.  Not a healthy way to live, right?  I know.  I found myself always looking for something, and would eventually find it.  I just couldn’t leave it alone.  It was almost like I was obsessed with finding the truth, and wouldn’t stop until I had uncovered it.

Recently, I almost lost one of my best friends because I allowed distrust to rear it’s ugly head in our relationship on multiple occasions, even though I never really had a reason not to trust.

Digital Distrust: We are Losing Faith in Technology to Solve the Worlds ProblemsWe have to “learn” how to delete distrust out of our relationships/friendships if we have no concrete evidence the person is being untrustworthy.  We shouldn’t bring past hurts into new friends and/or relationships because it “just ain’t cool (as I was told)”.  What we don’t realize, at the time, is that we are hurting people (unintentionally) who haven’t inflicted any type of pain on us.  We are subconsciously punishing them for what someone else did to us.

Now, we can’t control the thoughts that run across and through our minds, but we can The Pain of Distrustmaster the art of kicking those thoughts out.  Let me just say this, I’m not suggesting in any way, shape, form or fashion it’s going to be easy; however, it is possible.  It will take much practice, and we’ll have to talk ourselves down off the ledge every time we have the urge to question a person’s honesty.  Now, the flip side of that is, if someone is being dishonest, it will eventually come out in the wash, as the old folks used to say, or as the more current saying goes, “what’s done in the dark will come to the light”.  No more needs to be said – I’m going to leave that right there.

I urge you to stop wasting time looking for things that are probably only a part of your imagination, but if you cannot find it within yourself to trust, you have to move on rather than frustrating people with your thoughts and insecurities.

Gurl, I know you’ve been hurt, but at what point do you let the healing begin?  I’m here to tell you there is no time like the present.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

Decluttering Your Mind…

There are times in our lives that we have so much going on mentally that we not only drive ourselves bonkers, but those around us as well.  This was me — that is, until my newfound revelation.

Today, I went to the National Harbor in Washington, DC.  I invited a friend to go along; however, they had other obligations, which I understood came first.  Once my daughter found out that I was going alone, she said that she, her boyfriend, and my grandson could go along.  I responded, “No, I wanted to go by myself”.  She wondered what I would do and I guess felt kind of bad that I would be alone, but I assured her that I was going to be perfectly fine.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a journey that I needed to take by myself.  In fact, it was imperative that I go alone; otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten what I needed today.

After arriving there, I found the perfect spot in the parking garage and was absolutely elated because this almost never happens to me.  As I walked around, I noticed that most people weren’t by themselves, but I wasn’t bothered by that.  I can remember a time, however, in my life that I would have felt awkward, lonely and depressed to walk alone, and would have tried to make myself invisible by walking with my head down to the ground.  I am no longer that girl and for that I’m grateful; I can walk alone with my head held high because I have learned to enjoy my own company.

I walked into several stores and did some window shopping, and even expanded my walk to several streets over.  By this time, my tummy was talking to me because I had only eaten breakfast.  I went into several establishments to peruse their menus before deciding on Potbelly Sandwich Shop.  Might I add, they had the best turkey club sandwich that I’ve ever had in my life.  I sat there alone eating my sandwich and munching on chips as I caught up with the latest news, and checked my social media pages.

de clutterThen, I went outside and found a nice seat where I could see the water, the sand, and the tour boat.  There were tons of people milling about as this was the perfect day to be out and about.  While sitting there, I people watched for a bit because I always find that very interesting.  At some point, I turned my focus to a group of young people who couldn’t seem to stop cursing and thought back to the days when I was coming along that kids wouldn’t do that in front of adults out of respect.  I felt a nice cool breeze.  Immediately, I felt peach wash over me.  It was at that exact moment that I began to relax.  I forgot about all of the people milling around and I forgot about the young people.  I began to turn my thoughts inward as I focused on me and all the many thoughts I had roaming around in my head of late.  I started sweeping the cobwebs out.  I told myself not to worry about my children/grandchildren, not to worry or focus on my job and the changes being mandated, not to rush to the mailbox everyday looking for a court date for my upcoming divorce, not to worry about my relationship, etc., etc.  I began to smile to myself as I thought about everything that needed to be swept out of my mind.

To further add to my evening, I had no clue that I was going to be in for a musical treat  by the Sea Chanters which is one of the United States Naval Ensembles.  They entertained us for a good hour or more, and were absolutely phenomenal!  As I listened to them sing unfamiliar as well as familiar (they even performed a medley of Motown songs) songs, I relaxed.  I took a deeper breath.  I smiled.  I forgot…

As the crowd dissipated I continued to sit there in the same spot that I had occupied for several hours.  I honestly didn’t want to leave, and could have sat there all night because I felt so renewed and refreshed.

What I took away from today’s outing is that sometimes you need to be alone because our minds are often cluttered with stuff that should be released.  Recently, I’ve been told to relax about certain things that I was having an issue with because of what had transpired in my past.  Because I couldn’t relax, I was driving everyone crazy, including myself.

I don’t know what’s cluttering your mind, but what I do know is that you need to de clutterdeclutter.  You may not have to go out of state like I did to figure it out and to find your peace; however, you need to get a broom and knock down every single one of those cobwebs that is taking over your mind and making you lose focus.  You don’t have to knock them down all at once; perhaps, you need to do it little by little.  No matter which method you choose, it’s essential that you do it.  My mind feels so much lighter (now if my body would catch up, LOL!).

Because my mind was so cluttered with all manner of things, I had lost focus on matters that I shouldn’t have.  Today, I realized that some things I need to let go of, and some things I need to relax about.  In other words, I have to put everything into perspective.

de clutterSome of you have been carrying around the same cobwebs for years and are terrified of knocking them down because you’re so used to them occupying space, and you wonder what will you do without them.  Gurl, let it go!  It’s time!  It’s been time!  Knock out those cobwebs of depression, anger, bitterness, loneliness, frustration.  Stop worrying about your grown children as some of us do.  We have given them all the tools that are necessary and if they don’t choose to use them, we can’t feel guilty about it.  Stop fretting over jobs.  Stop worrying about relationships; if it’s meant to be, it will happen — relax and enjoy the ride (this seems to be the theme and certainly good advice).

Decluttering is something we need to do often.  We shouldn’t allow the cobwebs to build up so much that we’re always frustrated because we can’t see our way clear.  Never be afraid to spend time alone so that you can think and regroup.  When you, don’t be afraid of what you see.  In life, we do and think crazy things sometimes because we’re human.  We worry about issues that we know we shouldn’t.  However, we are to learn from those situations rather than beating ourselves up about them (another theme).

STOP (this is my sister’s and one of my friends

favorite word)










When is the last time you decluttered?  

No matter what, always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,


P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

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