Art is a gift to be received and shared and comes in many many forms. Paint, Cook, Travel, Poetry... you name it, if you're sharing creative energy, that's an Art. ~Steph

Friday, January 29, 2010


As you may know by now, I’m fascinated by people with unique style and character. And I love sharing those people with you. Rasheedah Sabreen Mwongozi is one of those people. Her musical style is classy, soothing and folksy. She writes, (lyrics, articles, etc.), sings (folk and African American classical aka Jazz), and is an amateur guitar and keyboard enthusiast. She is currently working on her first CD. After hearing her sing I was hooked. Her music sends me searching for a quiet space and hot cup of tea, to mellow. After the Interview click the Rasheeda Sings link to 'Do Not Be Afraid' my favorite song by Rasheedah. 

 Rasheedah, where are you from? Was your family a musical family?

I was born and raised in Philly, Pennsylvania. My parents were born and raised there also. The music is from my mother's people. I had several great aunts who were singers and stage performers. My mom's sister was a career pianist and my mother sang, danced and played the piano by ear. She was a great whistler also! My brother and I picked up the guitars. My sixteen year old son has been playing drums since he was a baby and is a trained jazz drummer. My first grandchild, who will be three in April, is a natural percussionist and singer.

How long have you been singing?

I can honestly say as long as I have been able to form words and speak. I remember singing songs I would hear on the radio as a child. I first sang publicly on a stage when I was about four years old. An elderly lady in the neighborhood put together programs. I sang with a few other little girls for one of that lady's programs. We sang "Little French Dolls" and "I'm A Little Teacup"!

Do you write your own songs?

Yes. I write my own lyrics. I don't put the music on paper. I just remember the chord patterns or I make a note of the chords along with the lyrics. I am motivated to write when I have experienced anything that touches me in my heart and soul very deeply. I wrote the lyrics to a song over the summer called "He Deserves To Be Loved". I saw a picture of a man and felt that he was not loved. It was evident to me. I was correct, too!

Your FaceBook Bio says you are a Cigar Aficionado. What does that mean?

It's a fancy way of saying I am intensely fond of smoking cigars. These two words together connote a person who is immersed in the culture of cigar smoking and the processes involved in producing fine, quality cigars. The cigar I am holding in my Face Book profile picture is a Gurkha Micro Batch TPB 1, for anyone who may care to know.

Do you have any CDs in the works?

Yes. I will be going into the studio next month to work on my very first CD! It is being produced by one of my friends, Mr. Ira Walker who is a wonderful musician. We met at a gig in Livermore this past summer.

Talk to me about your Perfomance Art

The first time I was on stage to do other than singing was in kindergarten. I was the angel watching over the Holy Family in a school Christmas play. In either seventh or eighth grade I was the Blessed Mother herself! How could I ever top that? Seriously, I performed traditional West African dances of Senegal, Mali and Guinea with a company in my thirties. Traditional dance presentations require acting and singing in addition to the dances. Dance is my second love after singing and I have reunited with my dance teacher, Sister Kabibi Johnson. Katherine Dunham said, "Dance is movement and movement is life". I agree and I am more than happy to be dancing again.

What Inspiring words would you offer young women today?

I would say to all young women, stay strong by not surrendering your power to anyone or anything. I would also add that young women remain open and prepared to embrace their abundance. Abundance is delivered in many guises so clarity of vision is needed. That way we don't miss our blessings. Keep a clear head and refuse to be captured by negativity no matter what its form.

* Thank you for taking the time to listen to my music and appreciating what you heard. I am inspired most by people and how they respond or react to life. The song entitled "A Small Kindness" is based on how I was treated by some women years ago. Love is always inspiring. I can write love songs even if I am not in love with anyone in particular.

 Thanks to Rasheedah for sharing with us. I'll let you know when her CD is released. In the meanwhile be sure to follow the link to hear some of her music.

Rasheedah Sings

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


What do you think of when you think ‘Chocolate’? Sweet, heavenly, Yummy chocolaty goodness! But wait… the calories, the sugar, the guilty pleasure. Well have you heard of BODY BY CHOCOLATES! This company boasts a wide selection of chocolate goodies that are Healthy Chocolate loaded With Antioxidants That Fight Free Radicals, An All-Natural or “Clean Product" and that it’s Diabetic Friendly. Now you know I had to get the low down!

Being Diabetic myself brought me to total curiosity on this one. So I decided to order some and taste for myself. I have to admit, it’s definitely chocolaty! 

I interviewed Jean Kelsey of Body by Chocolates who shares some very interesting information.

Jean, Thank you for giving this interview. I have found that many products that are designed to supplement or replace the things I really love, like chocolate, secretly harbor lots of Carbs and nasty things that provide sugar flavor. What makes this product different?

Body By Chocolates actually is a supplement to help balance your diet.  I think the best way to eat them is to let it melt slowly in your mouth for optimum absorption to the body. Over 90% digestion takes place in the mouth and your saliva produces those enzymes to make that happen. When you let one melt you have a long lasting chocolate taste in your mouth and it really does help make you feel like you have had 'more than one' piece!  Very satisfying!  If you don't have time to eat right, then why not add healthy chocolates to your diet to help balance out what the USDA recommends we eat from the food pyramid.  We should be getting about 3-5K ORAC Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (aka antioxidants) through fruits and veggies, yet the average person gets 800-1500.  Eating 3 a day helps deliver 10K or more antioxidants to your system.  How healthy are they really? Well, one nugget is equal to 1/2 pound raw spinach or even 3 cups of blueberries but it's chocolate!

How long has this product been available?

The company is about 4 years old and is currently in 13 countries...they are going into Sweden this year! It is exciting to see such a really great product available to many people to help supplement their diets.  What a great way to get healthy all from eating chocolate!

What I found most fascinating and curious is the statement that it Increases your sense of well-being. Now for me, regular chocolate does that, (or at least I feel that way when I’m eating it) but of course with the unhealthy affects. How does Body By Chocolates promote well being?

To give you a little bit of information...most every chocolate on the market today has been processed in some way. That means it has been heated which causes the antioxidant levels and beneficial flavonoids to be taken away. Processed chocolates also have fillers and waxes. Healthy chocolates are made by cold pressing raw cacao and also made with Acai berries and there are no fillers or waxes.  These two top superfoods are blended with high quality dark Belgium chocolate. Here is a bit more info on that subject: Good Chocolate vs Bad Chocolate

What benefits has it provided you?

I have this incredible overall well being feeling going on. I feel fantastic and really thought those days were gone.

Another claim that Body By Chocolates makes is that this chocolate supports Healthy Response to Inflammation. How is this?

There are natural anti-inflammatories within the cacao; flavonoids. There are so many articles available on the web and here is a great place to start

Here are some basic question and answers about healthy chocolates:

What are some of the products in this line of Chocolates?

There is a probiotic chocolate, an Omega chocolate, a dark chocolate square, a chocolate drink, a sipping chocolate, a nugget that looks like a little treasure chest, a power cookie which is not gluten free but is a true diet cookie, a protein bar that is a meal replacement *both the cookie and the protein bar have a chewy chocolate flavor like a brownie and they have just released a healthy energy drink.

Where can one find more info on this product:

By visiting and selecting the FAQ's to see detailed information about the products as well as nutritional information.

What is Cacao and what are some of the health benefits?

Cacao in its raw form is the number one superfood available on the planet today. Cacao ( is a plant based whole food that grows on trees in tropical climates.There is a video on chocolate production on Youtube at Note that when they begin to talk about 'processing' that is where healthy chocolates stop. These are not cooked or heated in anyway so you are getting all the beneficial antioxidants and flavanols.

Are these products available at retailers or only online?

The products are available for purchase online.

Thank you Jean for a very informative and tasty interview! I wish you lots of Yummy Success!
You can find Jean on Twitter at

*****NOTE: ‘Living in Color with Steph Jordan’ does not sale, promote or condone any product or idea. Interviews are solely for the purpose of information, entertainment and enjoyment. For more and detailed information on this or any product on 'Living in Color with Steph Jordan' please contact the Interviewee.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This may well be one of the most personal interviews I’ll ever do. 1. because it’s my youngest sister. 2. because it’s sometimes heart gripping when someone so close is in basically, never ending pain. But that’s not what I want you to get out of this story. This is about someone living with a condition that most of us could never imagine, living with it and beyond it. And for that reason I’m proud of her. You may have heard me say ‘Life is Good’ a million times, this lady proves my point.

Mother, Grandmother, Sister, NF Advocate, Lover of Life... Melanie has NF, or Neurofibromatosis. NF is a disorder that causes tumors to grow along the nerves. There are two levels of NF. Melanie has NF1. It’s very painful and it’s a lifelong condition. I remember the first time I really knew what it was about when Melanie had serious trauma after giving birth to my nephew. It was shocking to see someone so young and vivacious go through such a trauma. But, never has that stopped her from enjoying her life and her children. She travels, lives life to the fullest and stays more positive than many without such pain. Melanie remains so positive that I don't remember seeing her without a smile. Here is her story.

Melanie, how long have you had NF1?
I was first diagnosed at 18 when I found a large lump on my scalp. I had it surgically removed and after the pathology came back the Dr. told me I had Neurofibromatosis 1 but nothing more explained.

There is so much more information given to patients now. I was never told that NF is a genetic condition with a 50% chance of passing on to my children until I was already pregnant with my 3rd and last child. I'm what they call a spontaneous mutation. No one else in my family of 7 children has NF. There isn’t a cure for NF but lots of research is being done.

I have lots of tumors internally. Because they grow on nerves it is very painful. I also have severe itching. I have several cafe au lait spots all over my body.

What inspires you to be strong and carry on?
Other people that I have met that are severely disfigured from NF. My friends Matthew and Michael who both passed away from NF but lived full productive and positive lives in spite of their condition. I always try to look on the bright side and have the realization that it could be so much worse for me. I think most people consider NF to be a condition.

How does having NF affect your daily life?
I have several medical issues that were caused by surgery to remove tumors. I have shortness of breath, weakness in my right arm and the constant pain. A lot of people with NF have obvious signs such as tumors on the face and disfigurement and deal with the constant stares etc. My tumors are all internal.

How many surgeries have you had over the years?
I have had at least 20 surgeries on different areas to remove tumors from almost every part of my body. I was paralyzed from the waist down for over a year due to a spinal tumor, my arm has been paralyzed twice from surgery to remove a tumor. I've also had several very large tumors, one in the stomach and also the chest.

What are some of the limitations?
Because of the lung problems that I have.. I'm not as active as I used to be. I have tumors on the spinal cord which makes it painful to sit or stand for long periods of time.

There are ways to be healthier. It is very important to have regular check-ups with a neurologist, to have fast growing tumors evaluated because of the potential to turn cancerous. If the tumors are internal you will have to have regular MRIs. I also try to eat as healthy as possible.

What advice/inspiration can you give to others who live with NF?
Whether it's NF or any other condition that’s incurable, it is what it is. And all that you can do is to take the best care of yourself possible and to live your life to the fullest. It sucks to have any condition or health problem but we are alive and there is always hope for a cure, if not for us, for others that suffer from Neurofibromatosis.
Melanie gave me this interview 2 days ago. Today she went in for her 21st surgery. She’s out of surgery now and doing well. After some healing Melanie will be ready to get back to the business of enjoying her journey, Harley riding, seeing the world and being Divalicious! 
Life is Good!

You can find more information on Neurofibromatosis on, and

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I’d like to introduce you to a fun and truly energetic Artist
Julee Hermann of Heart Collective

Julee’s Creative spirit comes out in everything she does. She creates unique heartfelt Jewelry and Mixed Media Art with a message. And recognizing a need for Art and Creativity in school and life, Julee teaches Art to student Artists in all age ranges. Her projects are always inspirational.

Julee, I'd like to talk a little bit about your Art. What type of Art do you create?
I am mostly using mixed media techniques to create art with a secret meaning often juxtaposing the old and decrepit with the shiny and new. I am mostly known for making tiny shrines, jewelry using soldering as the common thread.

  How long have you been creating Art and what inspired you in the beginning?
I have really been creating art my whole life... as a little girl I liked to sew clothes for my Barbie and other fashion dolls. Both my Mom and my Paternal Grandmother sewed clothes for me and I loved watching those things come together. My father's side of the family is filled with a rich history of creative people from ceramicists to painters and musicians to teachers. I think that I was just steeped in creating, doing and making with the things around us from the very beginning.

  What are some of the things you have done on your Artistic Journey that stand out to you?
My travels have informed my work from the beginning. Incorporating mediation, social awareness and whimsy into each of my pieces I really start to see my work as something that shows a part of me that I would otherwise lose. Spilling my heart a little at a time seems to give me a sense of strength from vulnerability that I think I would be afraid to share without the art as a buffer.

Wow, I definitely understand that Julee!
Who are some of your favorite Artists? 
 YOU! (aww Thank you Julee!) Besides the Diva, I have to say Judy Wilkenfeld, Michael deMeng, Jane Ann Wynn, Traci Bautista & SuziBlu come to mind immediately for contemporary influences. Each of them spills something of themselves every time they create – I am inspired. Judy, Michael and Jane have an effect on me that causes me to feel “normal” or maybe grounded is a better word... to want to manifest the ideas of history and keeping things that are totally mundane as sacred... “the sacred every day” is what shows up in my shrines. Traci & Suzi's work inspires me in a different way... movement, freedom and color... permission. All of them are consistently building on their work and workshops sharing themselves with us. I could go on and on about the plethora of visual joy I get from all of them!
What type of Art classes are you teaching to children and what age range are they? 
 Right now I am so excited to work with the children at my daughter's school in Orinda, CA. We are going to be doing some Art Booking in a class I call Express YourSelf! The kids are bringing images to class and we'll be making something of an art journal in reclaimed board books. We'll be experimenting with different painting techniques, writing/poetry prompts, and paginating a book by hand. I hope to offer this as a one day workshop in Richmond schools this Spring and branch out to schools all over the Bay Area next year.

 That’s Awesome. What an Inspiration!

 How do you feel about the Art provided in school (or not) provided to children today?
I don't really know too much about the art in the schools right now... being in a CA school we are down to the bare bones. I do think that it’s a sad state of affairs that a lot of art instruction is only coming in the form of “Enrichment Programs” paid for by parents who can afford those classes for their kids. Everything else seems to be aimed at getting the kids ready for testing. I should say, however, that our schools in this community are top notch and we happen to be really lucky to have such phenomenal teachers and involved families who make that happen.

What is the most rewarding part of this experience?

Helping others to express themselves is such an honor and the lesson I'm learning every day is that being seen by others is the thing that human beings crave the most. I can be that person in my classes... I get to "see" all of these creative beings come out of themselves. Some of the things I see students do and hear them say blows me away... truly brave, light filled beings!

What future Art plans do you have?
Oh my goodness... A book! I'm putting together my ideas for a book... I'd like to teach classes on TV some day! Can you imagine? LOL Nothing like putting it out there, right Steph? LOL Immediate future includes bigger sculptures/shrines... I'd like to build a body of work from some of the mixed media portraits that I showed you recently... those are mostly top secret, though! :) And building on my jewelry lines is a constant source of inspiration and work for me.

 Where do you get your inspiration to do this?
I dream this stuff up, I guess, although I don't necessarily have these concrete dreams... I sort of wake up with a fuzzy idea of something I'd like to do and then I walk around with ideas and talk about them with people and then they manifest in these brave expressions of myself. I'm influenced by everything from music and movies to Alexia my 6 ½ year old little girl and the beautiful meadow and forest around my house.

What words of inspiration would you like to share?
I guess I would ask people to allow themselves they are creative. Let yourself think you’re creative. We are all creative beings. Giving yourself permission to be creative is the ultimate ticket.
Thank you for that fun interview Julee and we even got to see some of your beautiful work. You are a definite Creative Inspiration. 

I wish you the best on your Journey. Keep your eye on Julee. So much more to come.

You can find Julees work on the internet, in Galleries and on her website at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


One thing that can be said about all Artists is we sometimes live outside ourselves. Comes with the territory. Artist of any media are basically an open book, or in Dino Wells case, an open Journal. Dino has been around the block and his determination and sheer will is impressive and inspirational. 

When I started this interview I had no idea I would be so touched and moved by Dino’s Journey. While he does admit to seeing a lot of struggle, his persistence, patience and strength is what comes through. And anyone that’s had a hard struggle will immediately connect with Dino. It takes a lot to live on the outside. To be an open book, willingly, in part so some can learn and in part so you can heal.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dino has seen his share of hard life. He took an interest in writing as a very young child and even pursued a career in Boxing at age 19, and won over 100 fights. He started working as a Production Assistant on many films and working on his own film career. Dino is currently working on his screenplay ‘Trying Times’, setting up his own company ‘Crossing Path Entertainment and also spends his time writing and journaling every day of his life. His Journals real and unedited are not for the squeamish. He says what he means and means what he says.

From his regular role in season one of Prison Break to Screenwriting his own works, Dino is constantly on the move with his career and reaching for the stars. 

What was it like the first time you thought "acting" is what I want to do?
It was intense. I wanted to be an actor every since I saw Sidney Poitier in a ‘Raisin in the Sun’, he inspired me to act.

What and who inspires you most?
My children are what makes me grind. I’m trying to get financially well so I can have them in my life and provide for a good life for them. I’m most inspired by what I get from the Universe. If you think bad things, bad things come, If you think good things, good things come.

To date what is the most interesting thing you've done in your acting career?
Work on Prison Break season one, I played Trumpets right hand man.

Aside from 'Prison Break' what are some other pictures you were in?
Mama Floras Family, starring Cicely Tyson, Scream 2 as a bystander in the far background LOL, and Glory Road as a small part as John Anderson LOL 2.9 seconds.

You wrote a play a few years ago. Did you like that experience and is it something you may pursue in the future?
The play I wrote which one the only stage play? Well it was good to the point that it made me want more. To see people perform that was a blessing.

You were also a Semi Pro football player and a boxer on your Journey. What teams did you play for?
Dupage Eagles briefly, Atlanta Colts, Georgia Rage and New Orleans Gladiators.
Is that something you would participate in again? MY old ass, LOL, sure if someone gave me a shot. What about boxing? Yes, get in shape tiptop shape I'll take one anyone right now.

You're very interested in helping troubled youth. How and Why?
I was a troubled youth and know what they are going through. I just want to reach out to youth who want to change and better their lives. I want to help provide positive opportunities and resources to help them to obtain their goals and to uplift them. I also want to help women who are victims of domestic abuse.

What advice/inspiration would you offer to a struggling up and coming Artist?
Let the haters hate, keep driving forward. Do not let any negativity deter you from your goal. Don't procrastinate because it's the adversary to LOVE and an ALLIE to laziness.

I have read a lot of your Journaling. As you know, I'm big on Journaling. What motivates you to write? Life and all my experiences!
What benefits do you get from writing?
I just release and if someone reads and is touched by my walk and constant fight through adversity, then that is rewarding enough for me. I have many unsung accolades.

Screenwriter, Production Assistant, Actor, Survivor, Journalist, Boxer, Sportsman, Dino Wells Jr.

This quote heads Dino’s Blog: I write how I feel, when I feel it. I enjoy the art of pouring my emotions out. My life is, what it is; entertaining, dramatic, sensual and suspenseful. Walk with me David Wells as we cross into Dino the entertainer's life.

We just did Dino, and I’ll be back to see how your Travels through life are going. Journey on! I wish you the best.

You can find out more about Dino and his career at IMDb
you can also find him on Youtube and see his Journal live. Mrdinowell's Channel
Thank you! Life is Good!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Paul Spenard

Mind bending? Illusions? Whether a skeptic or a believer, it is interesting and thought provoking. I have to admit to fascination at watching Illusionists, Magicians, Mind Benders. For some of us it’s fun, for others it’s life. Either way, I’m open to all possibilities in life, until they become impossibilities. 

Enter Paul Spenard. Tech geek by day, gamergeek by night, urban street magician by Art. According to Paul he’s Mind bending and freaking people out in a good way!

Paul, that’s a mind numbing list of activities you’ve got there. Tech, Game Geek, Magician. Is your mind going 24 hours a day?

Oh yes it never stops. I have an overactive imagination so I am constantly coming up with new ideas. My tag line on my website and performance is "make noise with your imagination". Needless to say I have no concept of the term "being bored". I worked as an archaeologist and that really opened up my mind to new things an how people came to where we are now. So now I just stress for people to open up their minds and just have fun. Life is more about experiencing it then being serious and close minded. Life is what gets in the way of what you really want to be doing - so enjoy it.

Do all of these loves fuel each other?
Yes very much so. I combine technology, archeology and old cultures with magic and am always looking at ways I can marry the two. I could never actually marry magic or tech for that is not legal even here in Canada. Just the idea of divorce and settlement with technology could be ugly!

I work in the high paced world of cell technology for my day job and it is always changing keeping me on my toes. This fuels my magic where I am always looking at changing it and adding in cool tech. I have illusions with my Iphone that bend people's minds pretty well. I call my illusions "mind bends". One I slide a $2 coin (twonie) inside my iphone to have it rattle around.

Let’s talk about your Mind Bending Magic. So when did you fall in love with Magic? Which by the way, I find exciting just by the very sound of the word LOL.

I got hooked on magic at a very young age. My parents took me to a staff christmas party when I was like 6 or so. The magician was a guy just starting out and working kids parties. I got pulled up onto the stage and he tied long ropes around my waist giving the ends to 2 other kids on either side of me. He put a pair of prank glasses on me - the ones that the fake eyeballs spring out on bouncy springs. The kids pulled on the ropes and at the same time the eyes sprang out on springs on the glasses. SNAP! BOING! The ropes came through my body and the eyes popped out. Enter my mom now freaking out. She thought he popped my eyes out! I was hooked ever since. My dad bought me magic kits and I was a little junior Mind Bender in training since then.

The young magician was Doug Henning and he went onto world fame. I met him in a magic store years later and he remembered me "hey you were the boy whose mom freaked out!". That put over the next step and I began performing for more than my family and friends after that.

What is your favorite Illusion?

I have several favorites. I have to pick? I love the ones where people get the delayed effect. I like to hit them with double whammies. I do one bend where I take a matchbox and seamlessly slide a large needle right through the center of it. I pierce the needle through several places in the box and it appears as if nothing is inside the box. I then place the matchbox on a person's hand and after my dialogue which adds to the effect they notice something is very heavy inside the matchbox. They slide open the matchbox which they notice is very heavy and inside is a solid rectangle of brass that fits the matchbox entirely.

The double whammy happens next. I explain to them that through out all of the performance no one has noticed that my shoelace has been untied. They are all watching my hands and ALL fail to realize the glaring obvious that my shoelace has been untied the entire time. The funny part is that they just noticed only when I pointed it out. I then point down and the shoelace and it then magically ties itself up. I pull up my pant leg to show there is no strange device tying up my shoelace on its own.

I love the double whammy mind bends.

Do you perform professionally? If so, tell me about the audience. I find it interesting and funny that when I go to a Magic Show there are usually more adults then kids. What do you think about that? (although I am a big kid LOL)

Yes I perform professionally for the people on the street or parties I am hired at. I do close up magic where people can get as close as they want. I perform as a busker mostly on the street and at festivals. All the money I make on the street goes to the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. It is a great charity I am 100% behind and I hope to perform at their Kid's camps this year where children with cancer get to play as kids and be around other kids who are all fighting the same fight.

The american half dollar switches places with a chinese coin with a hole in it under the ladies hand.
Magic brings out the kid in all of us.

I love doing magic for adults for they are the majority of my audience on the street. I love doing magic for kids that does not insult their intelligence but gets them to think. After all my motto is "make lots of noise with your imagination"

Everyone will enjoy watching a video of your magic. Including me!
I can't wait to film one especially for you and your audience. I am a videographer as well and focus on filming fellow performers and models and fashion designers/shows. I am getting a video done specifically for you and your audience. Stay tuned!

Well Thank you Paul!

Paul's website is Magically appearing and will be up and running shortly. I will notify you once he gets it rolling.

You can also find Paul at

Magic is getting popular again and I think it is because we want to step back from technology. We are constantly barraged by it at work and at home. Magic for a brief moment just takes people to a place where they escape to sheer wonder and mystery. I tell people the true thing about magic is not trying to figure it out - but to just let yourself loose in it and realize there are things out there we just don't know. So why sweat it?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my little piece of my world with you all.
Thank you! What fun.

A key magically turns on the palm of my hand by a mysterious key turning ghost!

Thank you so much Paul!

Folks, the big kid in me is fascinated. I hope you had as much fun visiting with Paul as I did. Stay tuned for more of Paul in the future.  Working on getting footage for the show :-)

Life is good!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm looking for wonderful people with wonderful stories from all walks of life to interview. :-)
Write me!

Life is a party! The Dance depends on you!
Star quality is a personal and earned thing. 
Earned through living, giving and growing! 
You are a star!


5 Generations of Beauty

You may have noticed the consistent flow of Genealogy commercials on Television lately. And why not? We all want to know who & where we came from. However, it can be disappointing and defeating when we reach out to the myriad of services offering to find your past.  I recently was blessed with information, ancestral pictures and re-connections with family long ago lost. I can't begin to tell you the pleasure I take in looking at the wonderful pictures and into those beautiful faces and feeling the energy and history connected to them.

Self described Southern Cali Genealogist, Geralyn L Morris, shares her experience and valuable knowledge with us as she Journeys through the history of her own family. The information she discovered without spending a dime is not only encouraging but definitely inspirational. 

1. Geralyn what got you interested in doing Genealogy?
In 2000 I was in school and one of my professors gave me an assignment to interview a relative either one generation above me or one generation below me.  I chose to interview my grandmother.  Her responses fascinated me so much that I wanted to know more.  Even though she had raised me, I felt like that was beginning of me really getting to know her.  My grandmother was 9 years old when her mother died and she didn’t know a lot about her family.  I found so much information on the internet and every time I shared the information with my grandmother, it brought us closer to one another.

2. What kind of surprises have you found while doing your searches?
There were many, many surprises.  I found out that my grandmother had 2 older siblings that died in infancy.  I found out that one of her brothers was actually a junior.  Her brother Alfred was actually born Jesse A. Handy, Jr. but over time his name became Alfred Lawrence Handy.  I don’t think he even knew what his birth name was. I found this information via Census Records.

 3. How long does the average search take?
LOL.  I don’t think there is such a thing as “the average” search.  There are times when I search for less 15 minutes and find information and then there have literally been times when I’ve searched for 8 to 10 hours straight and didn’t find any useful information.  It just depends on what records you are searching and what information is available.

   4. What is the feeling like when you make a connection?
Oh wow, talk about a rush!  It is the greatest feeling of accomplishment.  In the past, every time I found new information I would immediately call my grandmother and we would both get so excited.

 5. What if any changes has doing Genealogy made in your own life?
It has truly given me a sense of belonging and a desire to leave a positive impact on future generations.  Everything I write I think of how it will be interpreted 50 plus years from now.  I try to be very careful to leave accurate information.  I think sometimes I annoy family members because they may want to list a nick name as their name or add someone to the family tree as a child or sibling that is not a blood relative.  I would still add that person if they are related by marriage but I would use their correct family connection.  If the person is not related by blood or marriage, unfortunately, I would not add them to our family tree because that would not be accurate and may be confusing in the future.

6. What advice would you give to people who want to start a search or use a service to locate ancestors?
First I would say, don’t pay anyone to search for you.  When you do the work yourself you get a great sense of accomplishment.  Plus, when you interview family members you will forge a lifelong bond that you may not have had otherwise.  I would also say, be patient.  Genealogy research takes time and does not always produce immediate results but don’t give up.  Last I would say don’t disregard any piece of information no matter how insignificant it may seem.  Being a genealogist is like being a detective.  An old store receipt might eventually help you discover where an ancestor lived.  An elderly relative retelling that story of how she came to California in the 1940’s on a train to go to your great uncle’s funeral might help you find out when and where that uncle died which could lead you to his death certificate which could lead you to his parents, number of siblings, etc.

Thank you so much Geralyn for your time and this wonderful bit of inspiration. Life is good!
Steph J

**Tip - Keep a Journal of your Journey back through time. You may even surprise yourself and keep a history for future generations is a wonderful gift!

Here are some Links that may provide you with a starting point and/or information to get you pointed in the right direction:  -(offers a free 14 day trial) Says it offers Free History and other records Free History

These are only a few of the services out there. Remember to carefully review these and all sites before submitting information. So only go so far before payment is required to continue.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


A Hot Item

Fire Captain Terry Acrey

runs the Devore Fire Station located in Southern Cali at the I-15 / I-215 split, in Northern San Bernardino along with his crew.

They battle fires of all sizes small, and major, all year long. Here is a quick interview with Captain Acrey.

What is a typical day without calls like at the firehouse?

Our day goes something like this:
*0630 - 0800 Showers, breakfast, shift change if anyone is going off work or coming on
*0800 - 1000 Morning cleanup, some type of training, and equipment check out
*1000 - 1015 Break
1015 - 1200 Physical fitness training, station projects (one Firefighter breaks away early to prepare lunch)
*1200 - 1300 Lunch
*1300 - 1500 Firefighting training, station projects
*1500 - 1515 Break
*1515 - 1700 Station projects, cleanup project areas (one firefighter breaks away early to prepare dinner)
*1700 - 1730 Dinner, end of work day, chillax
Those are typical days without any calls.

How many fires would you guesstimate you and your crew works on a year?

We average 80- 100 fires a year. That includes Wild land fires, vehicle fires, and structures.

What percentage would you say is caused by nature, what percentage by man?

About 90% of the wildland fires are caused by man. About 70% of the other fires are caused by man.

What advice you would give people to stay safe and immediate actions to take should they find themselves facing a fire?

The best way to stay safe is to use common sense (don't store flammables by a heat source, etc.). Best thing to do when confronted with fire is to STAY CALM! DO NOT FAN A FIRE to try to put it out. That will only make is spread. If it's a house fire, shut the door to the involved room first and then the remaining doors to the other rooms to confine and slow down the fire until the Fire Department gets there. Always plan a way out! For grease fires on the stove, try to put a lid over the container that has the burning material in it or throw baking soda (not baking powder) on it. Have fire extinguishers available. If you wake up to a smoke filled house, stay low and CRAWL out to the nearest opening.

These Firefighters put their own lives on the line everyday to protect us. Its nice to know they do it with love and dedication! And a smile in their hearts!

Thank you very much for your time and your service Captain Terry. And thanks to your crew and all the other Fire Crews out there keeping the heat off of us!

Steph Jordan

Life is good. People like this make it better!
Living In Color!

'Living in Color' means so many things to me. It starts and ends with being happy about yourself and life in general. It also means celebrating life and all the wonderful things, large and small, that it has to offer. Celebrating you and what you bring to this life, and sometimes whether we realize it or not, we all bring something to the table.

A lady wrote me and talked about her life and told me she felt she didn't offer this world anything in her 60 years. You know I'm not having that! My response: "You said you had a daughter that's a doctor and a son that is a teacher! You worked at XYZ for 30 years. Are you kidding me?! You've given, you not only gave us two caring individuals that give to society in a positive way, but you have also given us your years at that job, which helps this world go round.

In other words, stop dwelling on what you don't or thinking you don't have and start valuing what you have given to the earth. You'll not only feel better about yourself, but also about life in general! Live in Color!

Stay with me as I find lots of wonderful people, places and things that help us all Live In Color! and have a lot of fun.

Life is Good!


(c) 2009 - 2011
Stephanie Jordan, Diviacity

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The views expressed in these interviews
are soley those of the interviewees.

Make sure to check out the show online :-))

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