The House Built On L♡VE & Shenanigans

The In's and Out's of Family Life in Charlottesville, VA


The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff, Ready for Festival Season!


We are pleased that on November 1, 2015, after a considerable amount of time and effort expended by a family of committed people, we were able to bring The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff book project to life!


This young reader seems very pleased.

I continue to feel truly grateful and in awe of how well our labor of love is doing.  The book is  finding its way into the hands of many readers, bringing tons of smiles to the faces, and joy to the hearts of the many little ones who have experienced this thoughtful tale.

And now I’m pleased to announce (drum roll please) that The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff, was accepted to the 2016 Virginia Festival of the Book! 

As a part of this 5 day event, I was invited to present at:  The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on Thursday, 3/17, and The Village School on Saturday, 3/19.


Corbin H. loves the book!

I will also host a program at the Congregation Beth Israel on Thursday, 3/17 at 10 am, and I have a book signing at Alakazam Toy & Book store on Sunday, 3/20 from 3-4:30. All of these events are in Charlottesville, VA. so if you happen to be in the area, please come and check us out.

In addition to that, the book will also be presented at the 2016 Baltimore Book Festival! This festival is taking place on Saturday, September 24, 2016.  Please visit my website for more updates (times, locations, etc.) as they become available.

My hope is that this “little-book-that-could,” will continue to be used to inspire both young and old to follow their passion — to be bold, and to live this life on your own terms, by truly living and breathing your unique authenticity!


That’s what we are here for!


Kojo S. shows off his copy!

To create, love, encourage others…and to dream! But we mustn’t stop there.  Oh no homie, we must then act on those dreams in an effort to BE the change we seek to make in this universe.

Thank you to all those who have supported our book.

Let’s keep it movin’!




Pull Your Pants Up



I was reading an article on the website Stereogum, about a comment that Chance The Rapper made about Spike Lee’s new movie Chi-raq. In it, Chance criticized the movies message by describing it as being on, “some Bill Cosby, ‘pull your pants up’ type stuff.”

Chance contends that it isn’t so much the lifestyle choices that young people are making, (ie..sagging pants) but that PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is actually more responsible for the troubles that are affecting communities nationwide.

Chance says, “Kids as young as seven, and younger than that, have seen people murdered in front of them, so that starts a paranoia in your mind that you’re walking around with. When you’re walking around and you feel like people are trying to kill you, you shoot when you get scared. That’s a problem that even I have. That’s a problem that a lot of people suffer.”

sagging pants

You’ve seen this fashion statement plenty of times before.

I’ll concede that he has a point!

I don’t want to argue the validity of  his assessment of causality for now, so let’s back up to the some Bill Cosby, ‘pull your pants up’ type stuff comment that Chance made.

I’m not much for preaching the cultural, ethical, and moral ramifications of something as trite as  fashion, and I’m a bit turned off by any talk that does.  Maybe that’s because it’s just not that important for me to spread my brand of morality to people.

Can't get right

Can’t Get Right played by actor Bokeem Woodbine

At times when I was a youth, my nickname could have easily been, “Can’t Get Right,” just like the character from the 1999 movie, “Life.” Back in those days, there was a period when I just couldn’t get my act together. In other words, I’d fallen short of my own expectations for myself and those of others (and at times still do).

But as I consciously and continuously evolve, I’m learning what works best for me as I strive to grow nearer to living my own authentic truth.

I can only practice being the best person I can be, while encouraging others to do the same.

If you find it necessary to wear your pants down below your butt (even though I wouldn’t) who am I to judge that, or to try and attribute your choice to the systematic decline of society? Your personal style is your prerogative – a byproduct of the beauty of free-will!


MLK’s pants were not sagging and this still happened to him!

So to all those who still concern themselves with other people’s clothing, and the manner in which they wear them, (as if these decisions will lead to some great calamity) I ask you this question.

Are you being your best self?

The truth is, only you can answer that for yourself!

The point I feel Chance was making from the perspective of a young person is that, older folks act as if we know what’s best for everyone simply because we are old.  It’s true that experience is the best teacher, and I believe that we should respect our elders.  However there is a difference between experience and wisdom.

Unfortunately, wisdom does not always come with age alone.  There are many philosophical thoughts on how one obtains Wisdom, but generally speaking, it is acquired through the learned ability to discern (decide between truth, error, and what’s important), and to show discretion (speak without being offensive).


I used to be a rather unruly young person. Yes, that is “the bird” on full display there…along with MY SAGGY PANTS!

An unwise person may come across as preachy and authoritative, while a wise person may allow someone to find their own way, by simultaneously providing gentle guidance toward helping them become their best selves.

This is also the mark of good parenting, and the approach I strive to use most often with my children.

We must be mindful to avoid our natural tendecy to be self-rightous in our approach to dealing with young people.  Because remember, it wasn’t long ago that we old folks were having OUR fun, and doing things that the previous generation thought was questionable at best.

When it comes to things of merit, issues of great importance, it is our duty to speak up! But when it comes to superficial things like fashion, we could probably afford to pump our brakes a little bit.

I know it’s difficult to do so, because the hardest thing about business is…learning to mind our own!








Fun At The Farmstead


The afternoon sun was beating down heavily on top of my freshly shaved, uncovered dome.  The decision to leave my hat in the car was a bad move, I thought, as prickly beads of sweat begin to slowly creep down the back of my neck.  And there was not a tree in sight large enough to shield this weary body of mine.  Yet the constant happy chatter and the sound of spontaneous laughter indicated that my kids were somehow immune to this fiery inferno.

We were back in the Kansas City area recently for my brothers wedding, so we found ourselves at one of our kids’ favorite destinations – Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.










Deanna Rose is a charming petting zoo in Overland Park, KS that’s set up to feel like a family farm.  According to their website, it is a 12-acre “children’s farmstead” where little ones can bottle feed goats, milk cows, take horsey rides, and take a ride on a horse drawn wagon.  Plus, it’s FREE during the week!



Of course we did all of these things and more.  And after I retrieved my hat from the car, we strolled down to the pond to try our hand at fishing with an old school cane pole.  There were plenty of fish swimming around because we could see them, but unfortunately for us, we couldn’t seem to snag not a one!  Either they didn’t like the worms we were using for bait, or we really need to brush up on our fishing skills, but one things for certain, they were not fooling with us!

The girls where mighty disappointed, especially since there were other kids around who were actually catching fish and shouting with glee each time they pulled one flapping outta the water.  I think it was just my imagination, or maybe my ego was getting the better of me at this point, but it seemed like one little boy actually looked at me as if to say “Na-nana-naa-nah!”

“Oh no he didn’t,” I thought! Oh, he’s lucky I didn’t just reach out and snatch his pole – but I didn’t wanna start nothing up in the family farmstead.

One little girl was catching so many that we tried to ease on down to her spot hoping that some of her magic would rub off onto us! This tactic proved to be ineffective as she STILL caught two more while we stood right there next to her!  There we where, on the soggy bank of the pond, looking dazed and confused with no fish, just a big ol’ useless slimy bucket of worms.  This was around the time that the girls conveniently began to complain about being bored, so we decided it was a good time to hang up our pole.











Aside from the heat, and being bested by those wily fish, we had a blast as usual.  It’s times like these that remind us how much fun it can be when we place our focus on creating joyful experiences for ourselves vs. concentrating on buying too much stuff, in an effort to find fulfillment.  Simply enjoying time together as a family was the order of the day.

Mission accomplished!