I’m back!

I’m back!

It’s been four years since I posted, and I can hardly believe that! I would like to become comfortable with my written words again, and the only way to do that is to write! I foresee a lot of mommy posts (both in general and related to single mommyhood), and I may start back dabbling in discussing political issues since our current climate is always on my mind. We’ll see where this goes.

I look back on my very first blog (which I started long before blogging became a real thing) and am somewhat glad I had hundreds of followers instead of thousands or more. I definitely overshared then, LOL, but it’s hilarious to go back and read. I had a FABULOUS time during my 20s. And my 30s have been interesting (sometimes beyond amazing and sometimes bonafide WTF, but never boring).

I stopped blogging after I became a mom because I wasn’t sure how to tell my story without sharing negative thoughts about certain characters in my story (knowing I couldn’t maintain their anonymity like I had when I was writing about my personal life regularly) and without feeding into negative stereotypes of single moms. But as time has passed and as I have become much more confident in who I am and the excellence for which I strive, I don’t much care about those things anymore. I saw this meme, and it was made just for me:

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So I’m excited yet cautious, but I think this will be fun. I used to love blogging, and I’m hoping it will be just as enjoyable this go round. It’ll be a little different simply because my life is not just my own anymore. I’m still Ranada, the girl always on a mission, but now I have a sidekick, who keeps me on my toes and who keeps me laughing. Butterbean *AKA* Baby R is now a full fledged Frederick, who has had a bold personality since he made his way into the world on his actual due date. He’s now in 1st grade, and I’m giving him all that I got with the help of an awesome village. My perspective has changed, not drastically, but it’s definitely shifted because I’m always in mommy mode, which adds an extra layer to everything I think about or do.

Anywho, welcome to my refreshed blog, Just the Two of Us! I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I hope I will enjoy writing it.

“Black Violin” Performing, Thursday

“Black Violin” Performing, Thursday

Support the arts!

West Jackson

Black Violin is a duo that blends classical music with hip-hop, rock, R&B and bluegrass, all on the violin. They started ten years ago and have toured across the globe. They have collaborated with Kanye West, Aretha Franklin and Aerosmith. Black Violin will be in West Jackson on Thursday, October 3rd. Come out and enjoy the creativity!

Who: Everyone
What: Black Violin performance
Where: Roes E. McCoy Building, JSU main campus
When: October 3rd
Time: 7:00 pm
Cost: $15.00 general admission, $5.00 for JSU students

Purchase tickets online at http://www.jsums.edu/artisticintensity. For questions, call 601-979-7036.

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Play Hard But Still WORK Hard: Tougaloo’s Ranada Robinson #MyHBCUMyStory

Play Hard But Still WORK Hard: Tougaloo’s Ranada Robinson #MyHBCUMyStory

My story about my time at Tougaloo was featured yesterday! Check it out! Hail to thee, our alma mater!

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When I stepped on the hallowed grounds of Tougaloo College with a Tigger twin size bed set, a 13” TV/VCR combo (or was it 9”??), and a wardrobe that consisted mostly of jeans and baggy t-shirts, I was 16 years old. I had decided to bypass my senior year and begin my college career early with a full scholarship. Sure, I was known for being smart—I had been tutoring people of all ages in math since junior high—but I can’t pretend I didn’t hear the whispers of skeptical people who thought I’d surely flunk out and/or get buckwild by the end of the first semester. I was a shy kid who waited for outgoing people to strike up conversations with me, always wondering who didn’t think I belonged there. So I started the semester only letting my hallmates see how silly I could be and making sure my nose was…

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Topsy Turvy of Scandal

Topsy Turvy of Scandal

Every Thursday night at 10 PM, I’m glued to my TV and to FB watching Scandal and the commentary of my FB friends who are just as addicted to the show. The show, quick-paced and captivating, makes me question the morals of my FB friends (and every now and then myself) every single week though. How good is Shonda Rhimes that she can get the masses to root for what we’d (hopefully) consider wrong in real life?? Here are some examples.

1. The most obvious example of topsy turvy is the romantic relationship between President Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant and the main character of the show, Olivia Pope. Their affair has been the object of envy for many, with people talking about the potential for unconditional love if only they could be together. Ummm in real life, I don’t think anyone would see it that way. I mean, c’mon. As far as I’ve seen, his marriage was just fine before Olivia came on the scene. I know things happen <remember the “Love Makes Things Happen” video?>, but in my brain and heart, I hope that if I ever get married that my husband and I will be able to always choose each other and believe that when we joined each other under God that it was the right decision, no matter who we may meet in the future. So it always makes me pause that Mellie is depicted as such a b!tch (don’t get me a wrong–she’s a beast when it comes to the political arena… BUT that’s prolly why he fell for her and married her in the first place!) and like she’s wrong for wanting her marriage to work, when she’s the victim. Just the allure of Scandal, I guess.

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2. Now, I’m guilty of the topsy turvy in this next example. Last week, when James kept digging after hearing that David Rosen’s conspiracy theory might not be so crazy after all and found the memory card in the voting machine in the high school, I was MAD at him!!! I was thinking ‘WHY won’t you leave well enough alone???” LOL–how nuts is that?? Now, y’all know if I found out something like that happened in real life if I had the evidence or a lead for the evidence to prove it happens in real life, I probably wouldn’t just leave well enough alone. Unless of course I was scared for my life (like I am for James’ life). He’s not the bad guy!! The folks who rigged the election are, but yet again, it’s the allure of that doggone Scandal.

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3. Each week, I cringe every time Quinn finds out a little bit more about what happened to her that fateful night when she gained a new identity. Now y’all know good and doggone well that if you woke up one day on the other side of the country from where you were last time you were conscious with new documents on the nightstand, you would want to know what the HELL happened to you. And you probably wouldn’t let it go. But every week, I say to the TV, “Ma’am, you got off! Quit snooping!!! Sit down somewhere!! Just go with it!” LOL, how crazy is that?? One word: Scandal.

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4. How many people think snipers are cool and perfect friends? Well, before Scandal I wouldn’t have raised my hand. I mean, sheesh, snipers/hit men/spies are kinda untrustworthy, a teensy wee bit crazy, right? Well, every week, including last night as he was packing up his equipment after possibly shooting the president (we’ll see what actually happened next week!), I think to myself ‘Self, where can I get me a Huck??’ Someone so dedicated to protecting me, even if he’s willing to burn someone’s skin off his bones to teach them a lesson. Now y’all know that ain’t right. But it’s that addictive Scandal!!

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Those are just four examples. There are plenty to go around. What are your topsy turvy moments in Scandal–what do you know you would not support (hopefully) in real life but you find yourself amazingly rooting for it during that hour that seems like 20 minutes? Where are my Scandal fans??

Adding to Frederick’s Christmas list! We love books!

Delightful Children's Books

I am starting to update the Read Around the World booklists that I first published a couple of years ago. In the coming months, I will consider whether any newly published books should be added to the lists. Here is the first updated booklist — 15 (previously 12) Children’s Books About Africa!

In this case, it was tough for me to deviate from my original booklist. The original booklist included a diverse selection of stories set in countries around Africa, and every single book on the list was one that I really liked. Thus, while I read several newly published books set in Africa, I did not discover any that seemed worthy of displacing the books on the original list.

In the end, I added two picture books that I have been thinking about since I selected the books for the original booklist and one recently published picture book: Anna…

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