A Letter to my sister

Dear Sister,

I’ve been trying so very hard to come to terms with not only your death but your life as well. You were only 31 yrs old when you passed away and although that was a little over 2 years ago, I remember the moment our only living parent,our dad, walked in and saw you lying on your bathroom floor. I wasn’t with him physically but I was on the phone with him the second after he,along with the police, went into your house and saw you. Dad said he would call me back after calling 911 but I just had a feeling that I needed to speak to him and I’m happy I did. I asked him what was going on and he said you were gone. I was in the bathroom,looking in the mirror for whatever reason and after he said you were gone,I automatically said, “Stop playing.” You see I couldn’t process that you didn’t make it this time around. I mean you had been near death a few times before and made it so why would this time be any different? Even now as I’m writing this, I find myself still in disbelief.

After having to deliver the news to family and friends and then making the arrangements for your funeral you would think the hardest part was behind me but little did I know that I would have to battle your “friends” and I use that word very loosely,when it came to your son. I wish you could have seen them scare our aunts into giving your son to them. I was there at our brother’s house when it was decided that he would stay with your ex-husband along with some woman we never met and her son!! I knew than and there that I wasn’t going to play that game of allowing him to not have his family in his life. I listened as your “friends” said they would love and provide for him as their own but he had his own and no matter what we had to do, he was going to remain with his own. You know me well enough to know that when I am determined to do something, it’s going to get done no matter who is offended especially when it comes to the ones I love the most. I am a force to be reckoned with and I dare a soul to get in my way. Thankfully, I had the support of dad and Jay when it came to making the moves needed to get your son back into our lives. In all honesty, I had more of an issues when it came to your friends than I did when it came to your husband. Regardless, we have him now and in fact, Jay and I are his legal guardians so you already know your son will be protected and love like our kids are.

We he came to us, we had no idea he was as,for lack of a better word, “damaged”. We had to deal with him lying about crazy things, that he wasn’t the most sanitary kid in the world, he was struggling so badly in school,or that he had deep mental issues but we worked hard with his therapist to get a better understanding of how to properly deal with him and how to adjust to having him in our family but we did it. He slowly but surely improved his cleaning habits, his grades turned around, he no longer had to take meds, and we all started adjusting to having him live with us. His stepdad would come see him from time to time but it was never consistent and was never really a need but we didn’t stop it from happening because, at the time, we thought the two of them had a healthy relationship. Sis, your son has unconditional love from us,dad and Brenda, our aunts, our brother and his family, Jay’s family, your friend J.J, and from others so know that we all got him.

Recently certain revelations have come out and I have to say it’s been a huge shock for us. It has been a huge struggle to not judge you because I know you had a beautiful heart but I also know what it is to battle personal demons. As parents, society expects us to get it all right but that’s not how life works….we are all flawed, imperfect beings. I have made several hundred mistakes when it comes to my children so I’m not mad about the mistakes, I’m pissed that steps weren’t taken to get toxic people out of your life. I’m pissed that the need to be loved took precedence over your responsibilities. I’m upset because you didn’t tell us what was really going on….you could have told me because I would have held you down. I know what it is to be a single mom, to want companionship to the point of personal sacrifice. We could have cried together and fought together. Instead, you’re gone and the rest of us are here to deal with the aftermath of not only your death but your decisions and secrets you made and carried while alive. It’s crazy how generational toxic behaviors can continue even if it’s done so in a different manner. You and I would both talk about breaking that cycle via therapy and determination so how did it get to the point that it continued? The things we are learning now, had we known then, we would have handled it the Scott/McDonald/Malachi way but instead your secrets became a type of burden that we all have to carry. I’m angry, I’m disappointed, I’m upset, I’m hurt, and I’m confused. On the flip side though, I know what it was to walk around carrying such pain and embarrassment inside and it feeling like a tumor filled with negative, emotional cancerous cells. I think I’m even a bit jealous as I was when you were alive because once again, the sorrow is for you and the part that represents you now. I completely understand the sorrow for your representation now and in all honesty I get it for you but once again I found myself having to say, “What about me and my representation?” It’s so hard being the one expected to hold it down: your funeral arrangements, having to deliver the news, call the funeral home, etc while simultaneously having to always cater to your issues and be understanding. I hate the line, “you know how your sister is” because it gave reason for you to continue negative in your word and behaviors. I want to scream at you right now, I want to fight you and curse you out and then I want to turn around and give you a tear filled hug and tell you that I love you.

Your funeral had people standing up to show love for you and I thought that was beautiful but the thing about funerals is that the promises of help soon fade away are replaced with forgetfulness and while that was the case for yours, we also had to deal with conditional love when it came to your son. It was conditional based on the fact that they got to keep your child in their homes or that we moved the way they deemed fit. With the exception of JJ, not any of your so called friends reached out to us when it comes to any needs for my nephew and it’s simply because I wouldn’t allow them to do what they wanted to do. As far as your husband, if we never see him again, it will be too soon. He’s a despicable human being who, at the end of your life, only cared that he got to keep your car and ironically you called that when you were alive. To know that he not only mistreated you and your son but he wasn’t there to take care of you yet was able to take your car makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t even think of the name of the girl who helped facilitate that into motion but the fact that she did it right after your funeral, while still on the funeral grounds, and asked dad will always be stuck in my head. How do you have the gall to ask a man who just had a funeral for his youngest child to let her husband take the car? If I never see her again she can gladly count herself lucky!!

Death makes us morn the person who is no longer there but it also sheds light on what was hidden in the darkness. Your life was full of darkness with highlights of color that we had no idea about until 2 years later. Your life was lived the way you deemed fit but your death….that came with untold harmful actions that has affected our family. It’s a reminder to clean out your closet while alive vs having others do it after you can longer defend yourself or ask for help. As much as we love you, you have also caused some anger and resentment within me that makes me have a small about of hate towards you and that’s not what I want but I’m not exactly fighting the feeling either. The fact is you were spoiled and in some ways entitled which is why you made a lot of the negative moves that you did. I don’t doubt you went

A heavy heart

I woke up this morning with a heart so heavy that I immediately prayed instead of doing it my usual time. Breonna Taylor’s death and the conclusion of it is such a hard blow to not only her family and loved ones but to most of the world. I’m so beyond disappointed in the system but that’s not new,I think at this point I’m utterly disgusted with it and with those who think that it’s equal and just.

Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend were sleeping in bed when police officers decided to shoot first and ask questions later. Thinking that it was intruders the boyfriend decides to shoot (Kentucky is an open carry state as well as a state that believes in stand your ground) and in the midst of all of Breonna Taylor lost her life. The AG is saying that the police didn’t enforce a No Knock Warrant but I don’t believe that at all. The AG is saying that Breonna’s boyfriend had a previous run-in with one of the officers but I can’t remember if guns were part of that scenario or not. It seems to me that if this officer had past issues with the boyfriend than he shouldn’t have been a part of this particular case. It also seems ironic that no matter the situation somehow someone comes forward with a story to collaborate with the officers rather it be a gun found,drugs,etc. It’s repetitive and at this point expected.

This piece of jackass decided to not only drag his feet on this case but he also didn’t have the balls to handle it as he should. One thing I can’t stand is a man without a backbone but even more so, a black man without one. In case y’all didn’t know by now,I’m 💯% pro-black but that doesn’t mean that I’m anti-white. What it mean for me is that I love being black and I will always support my black community. I said that because of what I’m about to say now…this AG is married to a white woman,and that’s fine because love is love,but a lot of people including myself, always wonder if that makes a person bias when it comes to racism. After just writing that,I also realize a lot of people of the minority community either were raised or eventually decided that embracing the majority culture at the expense of their own was a better way to be. I understand that we all have to adopt to our environment, including myself but I have never done it at the expense of my blackness or my black community. AG Daniel Cameron is a whole jackass who has the nerve to tell black people that as a black man he understands how we feel! For someone who understands it he darn sure didn’t handle it like one who gets it does. I’ve said it several times but I’ll say it again,Black women are the least protected beings on this earth and Breonna Taylor’s case definitely proves that. The biggest threat to a black woman is a black man with no backbone and a black man who wishes he was white.

A lot has come out about this case from the way the police handled it to them attempting to have Breonna’s ex boyfriend sign a deal saying she knew about his drug deals to the DA being married to Mitch McConnell’s granddaughter (ironically Mitch is a mentor to AG Daniel Cameron) so how anyone could believe that how this case ended was justified is beyond my decent,non racist being, human thought process. The fact that anyone can justify all of these killings of black people is also beyond my comprehension. If people would stand for us with the same energy they use to culturally appropriate use than we would have more of a equal playing field.

The whole system is jacked up, from the Donald Trump on down. I’m fact he’s a blantant racist. He makes sure to protect the cops no matter the situation. He also makes sure to add the narrative about “white people too”. I’ve yet to hear him condemn police brutality,the KKK,acts of racism,or anything else. At this point if you still believe in him than you’re a racist and only God can tell me otherwise.

Breonna Taylor’s death didn’t go over well so why would the conclusion be received with warmth? The people to blame for this travesty are AG Cameron,the officers,the DA,and Donald Trump. My heart and prayers go out to all of those who have been touched by her life including those whose life she helped to save. She didn’t deserve to die and she most certainly didn’t deserve to not get the justice she rightly owed to her.

Tales of a “GHETTO” Keto-Pescatarian

Heyyyyyyyyy everyone!! How’s tthe new lifestyle going? Anyone losing weight or inches? Are you feeling any better in any type is way? I went out of town with my husband and our 2 oldest kids just to relax at the beach. I was wondering if I would be able to still indulge in my new dietary lifestyle without being too tempted and I must say I did better than I thought I would. I did cheat a bit but it came back to bite me in the behind! LoL! I’mma tell you about it a little later. First I’ll tell you what I ate while I was there.

The 1st night was kinda difficult because I didn’t really take the time to research what restaurants would be open around my dinner time and as I wrote before I try not to eat too late although it happens more than I would like. Anyway,I go to the closest seafood restaurant I could find and ordered a salad and clam chowder….I know,I know it has potatoes but it was the closest thing I could find that had no meat. (SN:we went to Carolina Beach and I had no idea that we would be the only black faces everywhere we went. When I walked into the restaurant y’all should have seen their faces. Here I am with colorful clothes on and a mask that says,”Number 1 Queen”. The stares were annoying,yet expected). Okay,back to my experience. The salad was okay, nothing to write home about as far as the clam chowder goes…….I’ve tasted better clam chowder out of a can. When I first tasted it,I thought oh this is different but then when I took another bite,I realized just how nasty it was. It was kind of a catch 22 because I shouldn’t have been eating it but I still spent the money to get it. That night I ended up eating the mediocre salad and the cheese and veges off of a pizza.

Okay,so lesson learned and appreciated. The next morning I found a place that all of us could eat at and be satisfied. Give me a moment to tell you about that restaurant. For breakfast I had bought some Morning Star sausage links which is around $4 and I had spinach egg white frittata made by Garden Lites which was also around $4,and some blueberries. That along with drinking water filled me up until dinner. I know a lot of us drink while on vacation and I’m no exception to that rule. I had bought some Smirnoff and Barefoot Seltzer alcohol drinks that are also low carb. I’ll admit that at dinner I did order 2 mixed drinks that I know was high in carbs. Listen treat yourself and work it off later. The restaurant we went for dinner,again the only black faces,was really delicious. I had a salad, a squash mix, scallops,shrimp,and black drum fish and y’all it was delicious and very filling. *pic below*

I one recipe that I made was fried fish in my air fryer. It really wasn’t much to it. I used Swai fish which was about $6 from Walmart and almond flour which was about $8. I seasoned my fish the way I normally would as did the same with the almond flour. I sprayed my fryer with coconut spray and dipped the fish into the flour and then the egg wash. I put it in the egg wash(2 beaten eggs)and then I put it in my air fryer for about 20 minutes at 320 degrees. The length of time depends upon the thickness of the fish you use. I also think length depends on the type of air fryer that you have. The fish came out really good and without all the extra grease and I ate it with a side salad! I make my salad myself using a regular garden salad but I add blue and feta cheese crumbles,eggs,and some almond and cranberry mix. Y’all,I was in black “GHETTO” Keto-Pescatarian heaven!!

Remember if you can budget for that dress,you can budget for your health! See you next week!

Tales of a “GHETTO” Keto-Pescatarian

How y’all doing? A new week,a new day,a better health!! I wanted to reiterate why I call this Tales of a GHETTO Keto-Pescatarian. I’m a black woman in the low income bracket,with a full family and life who lives in low income housing. I decided to start my new dietary lifestyle after two MD visits that had me with high blood pressure. Thankfully,it wasn’t concerning enough that my doctor felt I needed meds but it was a wake up call for me to get my health in order. I begin to think about the amount of women within my community who also want to eat healthier but don’t think they can afford to or have the time to do so. I also know that black women, statically,are more susceptible to health dieases than our counterparts so while anyone can benefit from this,I wanted to make sure that low income black women would realize they could eat healthier and do some exercise when possible.

On keto,you eat little to no carbs and as a pescatarian seafood is the only meat you eat. I do both so I’m a Keto-Pescatarian. When I told one of my bestie’s that I no longer ate meat,she asked me to repeat what I said and got silent for a few minutes before we both laughed. The truth we have become to used to eating meat that it seems crazy when you tell someone that you no longer do. In all honesty,I was actually getting tired of eating meat so for me the transition wasn’t that hard.

This week I was craving baked Mac N Cheese but being on keto means little to no carbs which means no pasta so I used cauliflower instead plus I had some crab meat so I decided to add that to the mix. I don’t buy the crab meat from the aisle,I use the one in the seafood section but I’m sure the one on the aisle is still good. I got mine on sale a Harris Teeter for $9.00. I already had a big bag of mexican blend cheese because we love cheese in our household but I also bought a block of pepper jack cheese that was on sale for $2.00 at Food Lion. I also had to buy some cauliflower because I ran out and that was no more than $3.00,the whipping cream was no more than $2.00 and because I like my Mac a cheese a little on the spicy side,I also bought some jalapenos in the can for $.88 oh and some cream cheese for $.90. I combine the cheeses and mix it with heavy whipping cream and 1 to 2 eggs to make it all stick together. I cut my cauliflower into pieces and I let it boil until tender. While that’s boiling,I get my cheese mixture heated up and of course I season as I go. After the cauliflower is done boiling,I drain and put in a bowl and I mix my cheese in with the cauliflower and then I add the crab meat into the mixture and stir it all up. I taste to make sure it’s delicious and the I place it my pan that’s already sprayed with coconut spray and put in my pre-heated oven that’s already set at 350 degrees. I let it bake until the cheese turns a slight brown and voila you have baked cauliflower and cheese with crab meat. You don’t have to follow my recipe for the sauce. You can make it how you want. Remember,make it work for you!!

My next favorite meal of the week was putting my Morning Star burger vege grillers and my Delight Soy chicken patties on the grill! For the bun,I used low carb tortilla wraps! Y’all remember I told you I don’t like avocados but since they’re a source of healthy fats,I eat them as often as I can by adding them to my food. So I grilled a few avacado slices as well and added them to my sandwich. So I had one of each and added a slice of tomato, cheese, lettuce,keto mayo,and some mustard. I love a good salad so with my vege burger and soy chicken I also had a side salad! It was AMAZING!!  Both products were about $5.00 a piece and while they don’t come with a lot in a pack,they are very filling. The tortilla wraps were about $3.50.

Oh and I recently discovered a few alcohol drinks that’s low in carbs. White Claw, Smirnoff Seltzer,and Barefoot Seltzer. It’s some others I can’t think of at the moment but they’re all pretty good to me. I’ve lost about another pound and a half and my blood pressure went from 150 something to 130 something! I still have goals to meet but my MD is definitely impressed and so am I!!

Remember,if you can budget for that dress,you can budget for your health!!

Your passion and your deadline.

This is my 1st post on my new website! I’m so excited about this because it’s confirmation that I’m headed on the right path. This blog isn’t just for entertainment,it’s also to bring awareness to different issues:mental illness,DV/SA, and other relatable issues. I have this passion in me to help my community and that community isn’t just where I live,for me it’s a community of victims, survivors,and overcomers from all types of trauma.

What’s funny is that I thought my passion was writing books,hence the name Author Catherine Scott,and while that is my passion, I also acknowledge that I may not be ready for that right now. Yet,here I am writing this blog and plan on doing it on a daily basis so I’m still a writer just not the one I set out to be! Sorry,I just got sidetracked. My passion is writing and helping so I’ve decided to combine the 2 with this blog!

Had you caught me 1 to 3 yrs ago,you would have thought me not finishing my book was the end of the world. I thought I was a failure as a person. I,like most people,thought that since I hadn’t accomplished my goal within a certain time or deadline,that it wasn’t meant to be. As I look back at it now,I realize how foolish and damaging those types of thoughts are. Thinking that way not only stops you from focusing on your passion but it limits the different ways you can achieve your passion.

A while back I attended a conference about DV and SA because those are issues I can relate to and are important to me(passion). I decided to volunteer for the Durham Crisis Response Center so I filled out the paperwork and waited for a response. I had the interview and after being approved,I attended their training class and became an advocate of sorts. I take phone calls from victims of DV/SA and provide a listening ear and resources. I love doing this.

A little while ago I was scrolling on social media and saw a post asking for interns to participate in community work. I filled out the paperwork and was accepted. This was something new for me but my passion to help the community in which I live made me put my anxiety to the side and put my best foot forward. I work with a team where we focus on bridging the gap between the residents/businesses of our community and the city of Durham. I love being able to engage with people.

My passion of writing and helping are what helps me to feel complete. I’m so happy I didn’t put a deadline on my passion because it gave me an opportunity to make it my own.