Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Thankful for … November 26, 2018

Last Friday, we went out – to a wonderful dinner and then to a nightclub (where a good friend of mine works) – to celebrate my sister in laws birthday. I am thankful for family who live within driving distance and friends who give you the VIP treatment at their place of employment.


On Saturday, we picked up a cousin from the airport. She was visiting from England. We dropped her bags off and headed out to a Drag Queen Christmas show. Risqué – Yes.  Irreverent – Yes.  So fun – Yes!!! I am thankful for relationships that stand the test of time and distance. It had been 12 years to be exact since she was here last and not a single beat was missed.


On Wednesday, my boss came by at noon and sent everyone home so we could get an early start on the holiday weekend. Yeah, you can bet I was thankful for that. I made a couple of stops, picked up a few things, and when I got home at 2, the house was empty – and stayed that way until about 5. I love my people but YAYYYYY for time alone!!!!!


Thursday was a delight. I don’t even know where to start. We all shared the work so it didn’t feel like work at all. Everyone over the age of 11 contributed to the holiday feast. Meaning that Ace (with a little help from England Cousin) made apple turnovers for dessert. The youngest (5 yrs old) led us in prayer before we ate. The middle child (Jay Boogie) helped to clear dirty dinner plates and serve cake. The adults who hadn’t cooked, – ok ok ME – did most of the cleaning up.  I think.  There was Christmas music and card games and tons of laughing and even jello shots. So much to be thankful for.


The gluttons for punishment in the family (aka, everyone but me) ventured out for Black Friday shopping on Thursday night after dinner. The kids were super excited to go – as kids tend to be about doing something new and “grown up” that you’ve heard a lot about and seen on TV. England Cousin was excited to go because as a Brit, she’d never been. Shaunie and Cousin Andrea were excited to go because they love to shop but more than that they love to get good deals.

***ahm – Did I tell you yet that Cousin Andrea came down from New Jersey? Well, she did.  And we love having her.

After they left, I was thankful for the couch and a blanket and Netflix and tea and 5 uninterrupted hours of a documentary on the Rajneeshi cult.


Friday was all about Washington DC. We ate and took pictures at famous sights and toured a museum and went ice-skating in the park. I was thankful for warm coats and family who are easy going and traffic free highways.

The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. We just hung out and chit chatted and had leftovers. Last night, when asked what their favourite parts of the weekend was, Ace said it was Black Friday shopping, helping to prepare Thanksgiving food and 1 other thing that I can’t remember right now. Jay said it was getting to play video games, eating cake and one other thing that I can’t remember right now.

For me, I was just so happy to have several days full of nothing but love and family and contentment.


I hope all of you who celebrate it, had a wonderful weekend in whatever way meant the most to you.


Thankful December 3, 2014

It’s mind blowing to me that 3 yrs ago when I started blogging Jay couldn’t speak.   3 years ago we were wishing, hoping and praying for 1 word.  Any one would work.  We just wanted to know what his voice sounded like.  And when they started coming – one – at – a – time we celebrated each one.  It was HUGE.  When he would say “milk”, I’d all but break my neck tripping over myself to get him milk quickly.  When he said “out”, CC and I would all but break our necks with the speed with which we looked at each other to make sure the other one hadn’t missed it.


Last week was picture day at school and when he came home, Jay told me that he said cheese and that he stood up and put his hands in his pocket for the picture.  He said ALL OF THAT when I asked him how his day had been.


The other day, after he had spent some time pouting, he came to find me to tell me that I said no to him and he doesn’t like no and I shouldn’t tell him no because when he’s mad it’s not a good feeling at all.  He punctuated his speech with … “And that’s why.”  He said ALL OF THAT.  My son who took 4 years to call me Mummy.


He tells me when he doesn’t like the clothes I’ve picked out for him and will tell me what he would rather wear.  He lets me know what he wants to watch on TV and argues with his brother.  It sounds twisted but I love to hear them arguing in their room.  Last night I heard Ace telling him that he’s not fair and he always wants his own way and Jay responded by saying “I like it that way”.   He bosses people around and chastises the cat for eating our Christmas tree and he reads and he sings and he re-enacts TV shows and movies.  His current favourite movie is Pinocchio.  Robin Hood is a close second.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.


Ace is a sweetheart of a child.  Always has been.  He’s vibrant and loud and energetic and silly and whiny at times and a procrastinator and fidgety and bouncy and oh so LOVING.  Never before has there been a more loving child.  As a friend of mine put it, he doesn’t have a selfish heart.  She’s so right.  It does my heart good.


Recently I wasn’t feeling well and I let him know that and asked that he be extra good that evening.  He was incredible.  He took my temperature and offered to make me tea.   The kid knows me 🙂 .  He got mad at me when he saw me washing dishes and told me that I should be resting.  When there were commercial breaks on the show he was watching he came to see if I needed anything.


When he wrote his letter to Santa this year he asked for what he wanted and then he asked Jay what he wanted and included that in his letter.  Then he asked Santa to bring me something too.  Santa will not disappoint me 😉


This is the child who loves all things Christmas and Halloween and his birthday and Valentines Day and every other celebration you can think of.  The child who chose Christmas as his all time favourite because that’s the only one where everyone gets gifts not just him or not just kids.


I can’t write much about the Thanksgiving celebration this year.  The kids were with CC and I was back home in Jamaica. When most of America was eating turkey, I was at a table with my Aunt and her best friend eating just another dinner.  We said a prayer and I had chicken and rice and callaloo (spinach’s cousin).  We don’t do Thanksgiving in Jamaica but I did thanksgiving in my heart.

I was thankful to be able to be there with my Aunt (for what she thinks is the last time although I’m not convinced).  I was thankful for story sharing and love giving and smiles brought to girls who live in an orphanage and for the very best of friends/care givers and for good food that I rarely get to eat and for tanks for when the water gets locked off and for new puppies who bring healing to broken hearts.  I was thankful for bible verses and teasing and for good coffee and home-made marmalade and for new babies and for God children and middle children.  I was thankful for people who are thankful and humble and who work hard and who are doing the best they can with very little and staying positive.

I was thankful that I get to go home to my 2 boys who are blossoming so beautifully.  I was thankful that CC and I are not fighting or being nasty with each other in any way.  I was thankful for new friendships and long time friendships that are stronger than ever.

It was a bitter-sweet goodbye at the airport.  There were tears but the last thing we did was hug and laugh.  On Thanksgiving day, today and onward, I am thankful that in all the ways that matter I am rich.


Jamerican Thanksgiving December 4, 2013

First we were going to drive down to Maryland and attend a big Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family and extended family and friends of family friends.

Then, we were just gonna stay home and order Chinese food.

Then we were gonna go to New York and spend the day with sister and sisters boyfriend and sisters boyfriends Mom.

Then we were back to deciding to drive down to Maryland after all.

We ended up going to New York and having a wonderful time.


In the morning my boys and I just took it easy.  They let me sleep in late.  Till almost 8am!!!  Then I made breakfast and cleaned up a bit.  After watching some TV, the kids even got around to cleaning up their room.  Which I’m sure had nothing to do with me telling them that they had better clean up because anything that was still on their bedroom floor when I was done cleaning would go in the garbage.


We got to New York around 3pm and spent the next several hours eating really good food and talking and laughing and playing video games (X-Box Kinect) and telling the kids not to play on the stairs and to be careful not to knock anything over and to stop jumping and climbing and bouncing and touching and spilling.

There was no American football watching or playing which I understand is the tradition.  There was definitely turkey but there was also curried goat and shrimp and pork.  There was stuffing and sweet potatoes but no cranberry sauce.  There was rice and peas.  There was apple pie (very American) and carrot cake (not so American).

It was entertaining to see sisters boyfriend trying to get the kids to listen and behave.  Meanwhile his Mom was happy to have the action and noise and energy.  Or so she made me feel.  Even though it was her first time meeting us, I felt very much like family and am already trying to figure out how I can get myself invited there again soon.



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A Thanksgiving Day Break November 24, 2011

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 11:20 am
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I had no intention of blogging today and I won’t be here long.  But you see … today is Thanksgiving Day and I couldn’t with a clear conscience leave the last post I did as my home page all weekend.  The last post was a bit depressing and that’s not at all the mood today.


I had a busy but good 3 days at work.  I came home yesterday and watched my 2 boys play happily together.  I did some preparation for today and then had a good nights sleep.  As if that wasn’t enough, this morning, the hubby went and got Dunkin Donuts without me asking.  I turned MY music on loud and set to cooking.


So as I steal a few minutes to type this … My turkey is in the oven.  My ham is in the oven.  My rice is on the stove and all the other sides are either waiting for me to start on them or my dear sister will bring them when she comes over.  My hubby is going back and forth between lounging on the couch and cleaning up and ignoring my requests for him to do stuff.  My 2 darling boys are playing and watching a Pooh Bear movie and I feel good.


Later, I will enjoy dinner with my husband, children, sister, sisters boyfriend and a good friend.


It shouldn’t take Thanksgiving Day to make us feel grateful for our blessings but it’s nice that we have these moments that bring us together and make us stop and acknowledge our many good fortunes.


If you’re in the mood for a Jamaican style Thanksgiving dinner, feel free to stop by. If not … then I hope you are all having a wonderful day with your loved ones.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all and may Peace and Blessings rain down on you!!!


Gotta go … I hear Michael Buble singing to me, I have clean kids clothes to put away and my plantains need frying 🙂


Thank You to my Son November 11, 2011

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 10:48 am
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A note came home in Ace’s bag the other day.  As a school, they are putting together food baskets to give to needy families for Thanks Giving.  Each grade has been assigned 1 food item.  Kindergarteners have the awesome responsibility of providing 3 cans of corn each.  I didn’t think much of it when I got the note.  It was just 1 more thing that I had to do.  Much like, signing a permission slip for a field trip, or checking his homework everyday, or sending back his popcorn fund raiser on time.  I remember thinking it was a nice thing they were doing but I didn’t stop to really think about what it meant.  I added “corn” to my regular supermarket list and kept it moving. 


Yesterday evening I put them in Ace’s bag for school today.  As I always do, I told him what was in his bag that day and why. 

 – “What do you mean we’re giving people food? You mean, like to my friends and we’re going to share and they’re going to say Thank You Ace?”

 – “No baby, you are going to put it in a basket with other stuff and give it to people who don’t have any food to eat. To people who are hungry.”

 – “There are people who don’t have any food? That’s so sad … ahm … What else can we give them to eat besides corn? I don’t like corn. They need something that tastes good.”


My son was shocked and APPALLED.  He was actually mad and genuinely sad for these strangers.  That he was so incredibly moved by the thought of people suffering or going without made me so proud and it made me hopeful for our future.  It’s people like him who will make the world a better place.   He wanted to understand why anyone would ever have to be hungry.  We talked for a while.  Admittedly, it was a strange conversation to have with a 5 year old but I’m glad we did. 

I believe in raising children who care about their neighbours.  I believe in raising children who will do something if they see an injustice taking place.  I believe in raising children who do not judge others by what they look like, or where they come from, or what their religion is, or who they love.  I believe in raising children who are kind and who will reach out to others who need a friend.   I believe in raising children who not only accept and tolerate diversity but who celebrate it.  I believe in raising children who have manners and who respect not only adults, but all people, including themselves.  I believe in raising children who appreciate what they have and as they move up (on) in life I want them to look back and help someone else.  When I drop Ace at school in the morning I don’t say “have a good day,”  I tell him to be a nice boy.  These are things that are important to me. 


But in this case, I almost forgot.  I had other things on my mind.  There’s always something that requires my immediate attention and stopping to worry about a nameless, faceless person is not high on most people’s to-do lists.  We have our own problems.  Really big problems too.  It was my son who made me stop and really think about what I was doing and to “add a little something extra”.  It was my son that made me see that it’s not hard to show a little compassion and to make someone elses life a little easier and to take away 1 worry that someone else may have.  So, along with the cans of corn we also sent some left over Halloween candy and a couple tins of Vienna Sausages. (My kid loves those).  I don’t know what his teacher thought of it but I was so incredibly proud of him and grateful to him for reminding me how lucky we are that we have food to eat everyday and for forcing me to share our blessings with others. 

Dear God, may he never lose that heart he has.   



P.S. I would like to take a moment also to show appreciation to all our veterans. They sacrifice so much. Their families sacrifice so much. I feel especially obliged to say Thank You this year since I have come to learn that Autism affects many children in military families. The stats for them are higher than in the civilian population. Also, the children only receive services/therapy as long as the parent is still actively engaged. That’s atrocious. It’s not right or fair that these families should be denied medical services once they have given so much and are now retired.  Happy Veterans Day!!!