Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Food for thought

Once again,  your humble blogger  had some issues with what to share for the new post. As mentioned before,  I like to share as much original content as possible.  Sometimes, however, great insights that have already been shared are worth repeating.  Hence,  this shall be left here to ponder:

Peace and blessings this Holiday season.

Ms . RanaDee

Saturday, November 8, 2014

About (not too distant) history

Sometimes,  something tangible is needed to make history come alive.  Sometimes,  it's important to understand history as not just events that happened in the past, but real things that happened to real people and have real impacts on our society today.  Sometimes, no words are necessary,  so your humble blogger will leave this link here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cast out into the deep

After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Luke 5:4
(Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
This may not be a new concept (obviously), but your humble blogger felt it was worth reiterating.  Sometimes, it seems like there are times when the most significant impact one they can make in their life for the good is to do a total overhaul in an area that needs improvement. It means doing a full step outside one's comfort zone. Baby steps can sometimes leave room for resistance to kick in. It means being the bird that get kicked out of it's nest to learn to fly. Easy? No, but oftentimes the risk is worth the reward. In full transparency, it's a lesson yours truly is learning.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Scale it Back

Proverbs 4:26
Survey the path for your feet, and all your ways will be sure
There is a verse from a prayer of St. Bridget of Sweden portrayed in the EWTN series Parable that always seems to strike me:
In delay, there is danger, but in haste, there is likewise peril.
In our hustle-bustle world, such words seem all to timely. It is so easy to get caught up in what we're doing that no time is taken out to actually survey how things are going or what's the next step to take. such moments can lead to confusion or frustration.  Your humble blogger's method of thwarting such situations aforementioned is to say under my breath "Scale it back.".  This means to take a moment, pause, and analyze the situation.   Most importantly, it's a self-exhortation to slow things down enough to properly execute the task at hand.

Whatever the endeavor, the natural tendency to dive right into a project or procrastinate can result in sloppy work.  For the former, it can include imputting all the ideas which pop in your mind, some of which might not be the best.  The latter can risk good ideas slipping away that could otherwise be utilized. Allowing a moment to look at things from a different perspective helps one to get a fresh insight into what's going on.
Let's face it-life can get too hectic at times for our own good.  Sometimes our hands can't keep up with our brains.  With modern society as it is, doing is a major part of life.  If anything's worth doing, it's worth doing right.  That means putting in the time to do it right.  Pausing for the cause can help one do, like the introductory proverb in this piece suggests, step back for a look at where your at and where you're going.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Being There

Kanye West has a line in one of his songs to the effect of  "My presence is a present". Despite the cocky context in which this line was delivered (and, in all honesty, the one who delivered it), there seems to be an underlying reality-that our presence is one of the most important things we can offer another person.  The basis of this is not so much that we are special in and of ourselves. It is rooted in the dignity of being human.

Whether or not one believes in a higher power, nature saw fit for each person on this Earth to be born, grow, and commune with others.  Yet, as St. Teresa of Avila said, "All things are passing". That includes us as well.  Given our limited time on this planet, being present to someone acknowledges their existence as a fellow human. It shows that it's not all about you, that others are just as deserving of time and attention.  As, in the words of Thundercat, "seasons will change and black hair turns gray", our presence is the very least we can offer someone else. At the end of the day, it's all we really have.

Monday, August 4, 2014


For the past couple of months this site has greeted you humble blogger on her work commute. No words up until now has been able to describe my thoughts on this until now, and it's this: 


Given the history of women's street encounters, did the construction company that has this posted on this site really think this was supposed to be funny or "cool"? Your humble blogger says no with a capital NO. It's telling that even in 2014 a company could get away with this. What are your thoughts? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Dignity of Small Talk

Moments ago,  while waiting on the bus, a gentleman next to me engaged me in small talk. Basically, it was an exchange of hello's, how are you's, short conversation about the weather.  The interaction made me think for a moment how it seems these days there's too many instances where such conversations would be looked down upon as awkward. Wouldn't it be feasible,  though, look at a brief, random discussion on a basic topic in such circumstances as an affirmation of one's human dignity?  Of all the moments people go through in a day, how refreshing is it, once in a while,  to be able to talk to a random stranger (or even a friend) about topics as mundane as the weather or where one got their shirt. It's not only a way to get information, but infers the humanity of those engaged in conversation. It says, without words, "I acknowledge your existence as a human being and thus worthy of attention as such in the form of verbal communication". Next time find you find yourself in a "small talk" situation,  don't be afraid to go with it as far as your comfort level permits

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Majesty in the Stillness

Sunlight of the late spring sun
Brightens the green leaves of trees
radiating the Spirit of the Majesty
of it all
Woods are no longer woods
but messengers
crying for awe
of the Beauty
that can most times
be heard
in the stillness
while taking it all in

Monday, May 19, 2014

Food for Thought-Addendum

A couple of months ago your humble blogger shared this thought for contemplation:

Don't be afraid to progress

After laying some thought to paper in today's journaling session, the following addendum came to mind-
Even if you have to take a few steps back to do it

There will be some times in life when things take some twists, turns, and even reversals. Hopefully, when brought to mind, this updated food for thought can be of some comfort:

Don't be afraid to progress, even if you have to take a few steps back to do it.

Ms RanaDee

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fashion pick of the day

So your humble blogger decided to spice up her work look today with this skirt by House of Chapple. It's fair to say this number is definitely worth having in yout style arsenal-litetally. At $30 you can't go wrong for piece by none other than Bravo's "The Fashion Show" finalist Reco Chapple. Put this on, get your heels, and be prepared to make a statement.

Get it here:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seeds, Lent, Easter, Spring and Victory

Courtesy of Fandroid on YouTube

     "Yet another Janelle Monae reference?", you ask? In this particular instance, it behooved your humble blogger to share the message in the above song, given the time of year and its deeper meaning. Now that the weather is starting to break, many are in celebration mode, enjoying the benefits springtime has to offer (sun, plants in bloom, change of clothes, etc.). However, as nature teaches us, this season is not just for enjoyment, but reflection and upkeep.

     Returning to aformentioned song, a particular line has been particularly hitting home for yours truly lately:
"...cause when the rain falls, my seed will grow/ I'll be further to my dreams tomorrow" 
The seed metaphor was particualarly intriguing, considering how nature works.  We just came out of the Lenten season, which could be seen as a time of preparation in the same way nature requires soil to be prepared for sowing seed. The latter consists of eliminating weeds, loosening the soil, and working it with various gardening tools. Lent sees those who participate in it doing likewise-eliminating, loosening, and using tools in the form of fasting to make improvements to our lives. 
After the preparation comes the sowing and watering (i.e. rain, manual watering).  In our lives, "watering" can come in the form of challenges or trials. As the verse above implies,that's when the seed grows.Victory!!!
It could be easy to sit back and relax and enjoy the blooming flower, but keeping it blooming requires maintenance.  The same is true for our lives.  Now that we made it to Easter, reverting to the things we were trying to get rid of  during Lent can be very tempting. Just like blooms in springtime, our lives need upkeep after we achieved the desired progress. This includes reflecting on said progress and attending to any challenges to it. The aforementioned lyric is telling in this sense in that Janelle notes that she'll "be further" to her dreams, not already there. There's work to be done.
This season has a bounty for us to appreciate and enjoy.  All that is for naught, though, if time isn't taken out to look back at what it took to get that bounty. That includes using the lessons from the preparation to address any obstacles to growth.. It's then and only then can the victor, as they say, get the spoils.  Nature teaches this well.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Food for thought

Here's something that popped into the mind of your humble blogger this week that felt  important to share:

Don't be scared to progress.

Ms. Rana

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Women's History Month and St. Katharine Drexel

Photo courtesy of

In a 2009 interview, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the woman behind the quote "Well behaved women seldom make history", answered question on the benefit of looking back on the lives of women in history by touting the diverse ways women have engaged in public life over time. She noted how throughout history, women have "invented things, been leaders, been good at gardening, religious heroines. They've been queens.". To celebrate Women's History Month, your humble blogger would like to take a look at the religious heroines  of the historical equation-in particular, St. Katharine Drexel.

Given her feast day was celebrated on March 3, it seems fitting to honor the Philadelphia heiress who gave it up to help the marginalized of her time as a part of not just Catholic history, but women's history. Born to a wealthy family, she went on to become the foundress of a Catholic religious order dedicated to missionary work to Native Americans and African Americans. Her story exemplifies the power of faith lived out, especially in the most adverse of circumstances.

 In the aforementioned interview, Ulrich asserted "If you look at the long view, women have always contributed to the economy of their society...". In this light, St. Katharine Drexel demonstrates how helping those on the fringes is the heart of impactful contribution to the economy of society.

A great account of St. Katharine Drexel's life and work can be found here:


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spotlight: Ulysses Dove

Ulysses Dove
(Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater website)

Since it's Black History Month, let's talk about choreographer Ulysses Dove. Born in South Carolina and hailing from the Alvin Ailey camp, Dove's works have been performed by a number of top dance companies, including Ailey and Royal Swedish Ballet. Sadly, he passed away in 1996.

Regretfully, your humble blogger has been out of the dance loop for quite some time and only had a vague familiarity with his name and work until now (read:  catching a performance of his pieces once or twice). Today, I had the pleasure today of seeing another Black historic institution, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, whose repertoire included a masterful rendition of his heart-wrenching piece "Dancing On the Front Porch of Heaven (below is a video of the Royal Swedish Ballet performance). If you have the chance, do yourself a favor and catch it on DTH's tour, going on now.

A great biography on the dance icon can be found here:

Check out Dance Theatre of Harlem's tour schedule here:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014



Rushing out of the house this morning, your humble blogger forgot to take her phone with her, which, is a borderline cardinal sin in the world of MsRanaDee.  The interesting thing, though, was how freeing it felt in many respects. While having access to all that a smart phone offers can be convenient, not having my phone on me for a while made me realize how nerve wrecking such access can be sometimes and how refreshing it is to have moments to just be.

Now that we're two weeks into the new year, how many of you made resolutions to limit your technology usage? How's that been coming along? Even if you resolved to change your technology habits, think about making an allotted part of the day technology free-no phone, TV, or computer. Even if it's just for an hour, see how it feels to be away from the wired world.