Road Trip 2018

Road Trip w/The Sassy Chocolate Sisters

Someone called us the Golden Girls. No disrespect, but absolutely NOT! We are the Sassy Chocolate Sisters – believe that! Last year we went to the Essence Festival in New Orleans. That was our first road trip together.  Ms. S, Ms. T, Ms. L, and me. We are all professional retired women – well, all except Ms. S who works way too hard. And, she also missed this year’s trip.  So sad!

Anyway, this year we went to San Antonio, stayed at a resort, and got happily lost several times trying to find a lavender farm – which, when found, was closed due to something about a bad harvest.  Whatever. The Sassy Chocolate Sisters ventured on.

Now one of us, Ms. T, is very adventurous. Me and Ms. L aren’t quite as adventurous so when Ms. T pulled the car onto someone’s private property, got out and started walking toward a dry, rocky creek area we thought “this girl has lost her mind”. We warned her to be careful, but she kept right on walking stopping only when she posed against a fallen tree – yelling at us to hurry and take her picture. Ms. L swore this was the last road trip she was going on with us. But, she said that last year as well.

After Ms. T had her picture taken, she found a gorgeous rock. So, me and Ms. L ventured out toward the creek to see if we could find our own rocks. We didn’t take any pictures by the fallen tree, however.  About twenty minutes later, beautiful rocks in hand, we returned to the truck and headed toward San Antonio. No problem.  Well, not until Ms. T decides to venture down a side road and visit a general store.  Of course, we found some interesting little items – remember the bubble gum cigars and candy cigarettes… We borrowed pomegranates from a tree and took the store owner’s advice on a local restaurant. The food was okay, but I wouldn’t go there again.

After we got back on the road, heading to San Antonio once again, everything was going well. Did I mention that Ms. T is adventurous? Well, suffice it to say she also drives very, very, very FAST!  Add to that – she’s a backseat driver too.  Check out these conversations:

Ms. T: Ms. S, why are you in that lane? You can change lanes.

Ms. S: You gon’ let me drive?

Ms. T: Yeah, but that lane is moving…

Then later when we stopped for gas…

Ms. T to Ms. S: I’ll drive. (translation – “YOU DRIVE TOO SLOOOOWWW!)

And, when Ms. L took the wheel:

Ms. T: Whoa girl!

Ms. L: What?

Ms. T: You got too close to that car.

Ms. S: (turning around in her seat) – Oh no! You aren’t saying anything about somebody’s driving. Girl, I had three heart attacks when you were under the wheel!

Ms. T: Well, you should see this foot action going on back here (she was stomping the floor like she had brakes in the backseat).

When we finally arrived in San Antonio we found parking, went to the River Walk, road the boats, walked back to the car, returned to the resort, ate dinner way too late, took care of a few emails. Ms. T shared a sad moment of reminiscence. Then we went to bed.

Oh, but as we were unloading the car this happened:

Ms. L:  We need to get the water out of the car.

Ms. T: Why?

Ms. L: So we can put it in the fridge.

Ms. T: For what? We just gonna have to bring it back out.

Ms. L: Umm hmm.

We brought the water in. Put it in the fridge and had to take it back out Sunday morning. Then…

Ms. T: L, where we gon’ put all this water? How much will fit in the cooler?

Ms. L: Come on. Let me show you. You will be surprised.

The water went into the cooler, bags, and wherever we could get it.

It’s Sunday morning. I slept with a spider.  Seriously, there was a giant gray spider in my bed! Ms. T wanted to squish it, but I asked her to let it go since it probably hadn’t bitten me. But if I develop any symptoms, I am coming back to that resort, hunting the varmint down and squishing it myself.

I’ll let ya’ll know how the trip home goes.


Hello family. This article was posted last year. When I ran across it today I decided to do a “rewind” and repost it again.  I hope you read and comment as well as keep…

Paying it Forward!

Scripture tell us “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” (Phillipians 2:3).  There is also scripture that says “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39).  Now it is not lost on me that a couple of scriptures before 39 says: 37Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Which of course continues on to inform us that “this is the First and greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:38).  So really, if the first and greatest Commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart and then the second is to love your neighbor as yourself, paying it forward should be a no-brainer.  Right? Must not be.

Let’s be honest, do we really take better care of ourselves than we do others? Be honest.  Okay, I am a very literal person.  If you tell me something is green, it’s green.  Not hunter green, forest green, teal green, etc.  It is just green.  So when the Bible says take better care of your neighbor than you do yourself my literal self comes up short. I don’t think I’m overly selfish, maybe a tad bit, but not overly. And, I willingly share what I have, but not to the point of self-neglect.  In other words I’m not going to end up homeless because I paid someone else’s mortgage.  Now, I’m sure there is something more in-depth involving this scripture, but like I said, I’m very, very, very literal.

Look, my whole point is we need to pay it forward.  Because in truth, we often do not.  I’m not talking about the man on the corner with the will work for food sign.  Nor am I talking about folk who hit you up at the gas station with a story about a pregnant wife, or a death in the family that they need to buy gas in order to get to where ever they need to get to.  No, I’m talking about those people we encounter everyday – at work, school, church, the grocery store, McDonalds, etc.  Those people that you won’t make eye contact with, speak to, or smile at. Those individuals who may simply need a little of that light you say you have to shine on them.  A hello, a smile, and wait for it – PAYING FOR THEIR MEAL!  What? Yep, that’s what I said – pay for someone’s meal.  Buy your co-worker a coffee. Bring lunch to friends at work (or frenimies).

If I am not censored, I am going to continue to write on this topic for a couple of weeks. But first let me share this with you: I have been the recipient of the “pay it forward” phenomenon several times and I have tried to be a constant part of the movement.  People I don’t know have paid for my meals, my gas, and my groceries.  People I do know, right here at TLC, have put a few dollars in an envelope and put my name on it; given me donations to assist in ways that surprise and honor me and most certainly honors God.  Seriously, it brings tears to my eyes when people reach out and pay it forward – not just to me, but to others.

I think we need to start a TLC “Pay It Forward” Movement!  And it ain’t always about money or material things.  It can be a hug, a smile, a kiss on the cheek.  But whatever it is do it from your heart.  I honestly believe that takes us back to that scripture that is the First and Greatest Commandment – Love the Lord with all your heart…




Remembering A Problem?

Hello ladies! I was reminded that I had not stuck to my posting schedule.  Work with me – I’m getting there.  So, I was leaving Wally World and could not for the life of me remember where I had parked my car. Oh, and this isn’t the first time.  This anomaly has occurred twice in as many weeks. I may be over-reacting, but could this have anything to do with me getting older? Hmmm..

Well, maybe and maybe not. For one thing, I have always had a truly horrible memory. When someone says to me “help me remember” I laugh and tell them not to count on it ‘cause, as my mother use to love to remind me “I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached to my body”.  I forget names, never faces or someone’s impact/essence on my world. And you know it’s bad when you have laid eyes on someone every Sunday for several years, been introduced, and don’t know their first or last name.  I just smile, say hey, give ‘em a hug and move on.

I forget passwords to email addresses, and if I haven’t had your phone number since cell phones had their first reduction in size, I don’t remember it.  I know my Aunt Margie’s number, my Mother’s, three of my daughters, one of my sisters and my best friend’s. Beyond that, when my cell phone acts up or is summarily dropped like my most recent one leaving a black screen, I ’m at a loss if I have to call someone. I will walk from one room to another, fully intent on doing something, but when I get to the other room I can’t remember what I was supposed to be doing. I can determinedly place my car keys into my purse so I won’t forget where they are, then tear the house up looking for them an hour later.

So, I asked if maybe my being forgetful had anything to do with me getting older. Maybe, but I honestly cannot say for sure.  I think it is a problem I have always had.

What about you-you Marvelously Mature individual?  How is your memory?

Please share.

Chat with you later


Side Hustles I Have Tried…

My Side Hustles

Just so you know, over the years I have done many creative things to make extra money.  I am going to list some of them below.  Because I started these hustles from my store of knowledge, I would suggest you research any that interest you so you can get a better handle on it than I had.  Well, because I love being creative, I will take on a hobby/hustle until I am bored with it, or it doesn’t generate enough income to justify the out-go.

Anyways, here goes:

  1. Braiding/Weaving – this pays fairly well if you are good at it. My problem was family, friends, and others who wanted to give me $25 or $30 for a full head of weave.  When I break down the number of hours it takes to do a full weave, hopefully the person has already taken down and washed their hair, I end up with maybe minimum wage.
  2. Flower Arrangements – this little craft netted me a nice little income. I had, nor do I have now, any idea what flowers go with what flowers. I basically did it by color.
  3. Writing – now this is a keeper. I still do this and it pays very well. There are even websites that you can sign up with to get customers.  The competition is stiff, but if you are up to date on MLA, APA, Chicago, etc, colleges are a breeding ground for customers.  And, if you just like to write, there are some folk out there with a story they need help with.
  4. Baking – another good source of income if you can find the customers. Most of my customers can bake, they just choose to have me do it. From cakes, to teacakes, to pies… and the internet if rift with recipes – although, I have tried a few that didn’t turn out as wonderful as the claim that was made.
  5. Errands – I did this for a minute. What I found was I lack the marketing skills necessary to appeal to enough individuals to make it worthwhile. My niche was groceries. Well, now that all the major grocery stores now offer online ordering and delivery, it wasn’t really worth the trouble. But hey, it may work for you.
  6. Lawn care – Hmm. I did this for a while. But, I don’t really like the heat so I had to hire others to assist and of course good help is hard to come by. Pays well especially when you have a few clients to work with.
  7. Sitting – I have not done this and I don’t think I will. But, I know others who have and they say it is a great gig.

Okay, that’s it for my side hustle ideas.  You can also go online and search for side hustles. I have seen googoobs of them.  Good luck!

It Occurs to Me…

As I sit wondering what to blog about I find myself getting off track.  My goal is to write inspirational dialogue that is helpful and useful.  My thoughts keep centering on my roof – but that’s another story for another day.

Anyway, I was wondering just how many of us Marvelously Mature women have found ourselves with our backs against the wall financially.  I am on a very, tightly, squeaking, fixed income. There are no extras, or what some folk refers to as “a free check”.  All of my income goes out! So when my insurance company told me I needed to replace my roof, but they wouldn’t be able to assist with the replacement, I about had a baby – and trust me the plumbing for that miracle has been shut down. The fact remains that I need a roof and I am financially unable to handle that issue. So what am I doing?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

First, let me say we can not go down for the count. I contacted the state board of insurance, wrote letters to the insurance corporate offices, took to FB with my complaint/observation concerning how consumers are taken advantage of by insurance companies, and I prayed.  Then, I decided to go further. A friend suggested I start a GoFundMe campaign.  To me, and my pride, it felt like something I didn’t want to do, but hey, the roof is leaking.  So, I took to GoFundMe this week.  So far I have $50 donated and $50 promised. Since I’m not sure if I will get others to assist, or even if the agencies I have contacted will be able to help, I know there is much that needs to be done.

Enter my side hustle.

If you go to YouTube or Google side hustles, you are sure to find various information on how to start your side hustle, companies to contact, websites to signup with, and more. I’ve researched a lot of this information only to be a bit disappointed in what I have found out.  But I need a roof, right? And I don’t have time to waste on disappointment. What I did, and you can too, is lean into my own talents.  I am a storehouse of a lot of hidden talents that can bring in a decent income.  Before I share my list, why don’t you take out your pencil and paper and jot down what things you are good at that could bring in a few dollars.

On Saturday, I will post my list and information on other side hustles that the Marvelously Mature can step into.

Thanks for stopping by an I hope you have a Blessed day!

The Marvelously Mature

Ms. Sonia




Hello! Let’s Get This Party Started…

I am so excited about this new journey/blog.  I have another one, but thought I’d give WordPress a try.  That said, let me begin this journey.

There is so much going on around us in this world.  Back in the day it was important to know your neighbors and while it still is today, those neighbors are not just the ones who live next door or down the block.  Not a chance.  Now our neighbors are global.  Which I find amazing, intriguing and informative. But that’s an opinion for another time.  Ooops, I forgot to mention that I often have my own opinion, albeit a biased opinion, about a lot of things.  An opinion that sometimes gets me into discussions that can sometimes be a bit taxing. For example…

A few years back I was working toward a Master’s in Women’s Studies at a university that supposedly catered to women.  Well, I wanted to do my thesis on women between the ages of 50 and 62 who are, for the most part, virtually invisible to society.  And, I wanted to specifically research what happened to these women when they found themselves unemployed/under employed, divorced, abandoned, widowed, or just tired of not being able to make ends meet.

These women do not qualify for benefits, beyond food stamps, unless they are mentally or physically disabled.  Many of them have put their lives on hold in order to raise families or help others.  They may or may not be formally educated and if they have retirement plans they can’t use them without being taxed by the government.

Some of you may even say they should have planned better.  And I would most certainly agree with that sentiment.  But what if they were unable to plan for the future because the “dirty right now” was as far as they could see?  What if circumstances prevented saving?  And, if you are one who thinks that is ludicrous, just wait until I finish my book detailing the lives of a few of these women.

Anyway, there is much more to be said on this issue, but this isn’t the space.  By the way, I never received approval to write my thesis because the school’s advisors determined it was not worthy of more than an article.  Since I have now been accepted in a doctoral program of liberal studies, it looks like I may be able to write that thesis/dissertation after all.

I’ll keep you updated.

Sonia J