Friday, March 21, 2014


A Spring in Your Step Blog Hop

Welcome to the Spring In Your Step Blog Hop ! Bloggers on this tour will share favorite springtime activities. Of course, as during all seasons, I love to read. Now, as the weather is warming, there is sure to be many more moments of reading outside, porch sitting and outdoor activities. . My favorite part of Spring is, by far, just simply enjoying the amazing beauty of nature, as it starts to bud, blossom, bloom, and literally explode all around with amazing colors, sights and sounds.  With the dazzling displays of wildflowers, birds, and lush tree foliage, it is an absolutely mesmerizing time of year.

POEM: A Taste of Spring

 POEM: Nature Lovers

POEM: A Country View 

 Beautiful Spring in Mississippi...
nature's colorful display in our front yard 
(Taken Spring - 2013)

This is a birdhouse in the pink dogwood tree 
in our  front yard.
We have birds that come to nest here every year.
(Taken Spring - 2013)



COMMENT for a chance to win a copy of 
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Pat Brannon's Official Website: Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Pat Brannon's Official Website: Patricia Neely-Dorsey: Dear Friends, I hope you got a good night's rest and are ready to battle today. In the coming weeks I will be featuring guests from di...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sweet Box of Wonderful: Way Back WHENsday Guest Blog

    Way Back WHENsday 
Featuring Special Guest Author Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Today, March 5, 2014 on Latoya Forrest-Heard's blog.....

"I think of my Mississippi upbringing on a daily basis. My favorite part about growing up was summertime! There was absolutely nothing like running into the sprinklers on a hot summer's day, riding down the road in Grandma's wagon, and having pine cone wars on the hill. My grandparents were the best babysitters ever! My cousins and I made mud pies and chased butterflies during the day and we would catch fireflies at night. We called them lightning bugs. We would catch them in a mason jar and watch them light up." .......

Jump on over to Latoya's blog to read the rest of the blog...... 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


One of my Facebook friends wrote a comment on her page: 
"I am soooo happy for Lupita Nyong'o for achieving the highest honor in her craft, but unfortunately I have not been able to watch the movie for which she is honored,"12 years a Slave". I grew up in MS where racism and discrimination were/are still left over from the oppression of slavery. I am sorry to say the bitter taste and the smell of hatred still lingers in my throat. So although I am happy for Lupita as a actress, I cannot, will not celebrate a legacy of slavery."

I commented: 
"Wow! I always see just the opposite ..the UNBELIEVABLE courage, strength and endurance of a people.  I always take those people with me and feel them with me wherever I go.  I want them to know how much I appreciate the sacrifices and the suffering.  I am not proud of slavery, or the horrific conditions that continued to follow it..but VERY proud of the legacy of those people...that great cloud of witnesses.  For some reason I felt compelled to say more.  Although, I very rarely chime in on conversations, on other people's pages, on Facebook, embracing my history and heritage is something that I am VERY passionate about."  

I wanted to explain further my first comment.  I wrote: 
"I still live in Mississippi and write poetry about things that I love about Mississippi. There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi, and the south in general.  There are very few instances when the news media or anyone at all, says ANYTHING positive about Mississippi.  I try to show a flip side to all of the negatives portrayed.  It's not that I negate, ignore or disregard the negatives, it's just that there is SO MUCH more to the story.  I am a 50 year old black woman and have seen and /or heard it all when it comes to racism.  My parents and grandparents, of course, saw, heard and experienced so much more.  When I wrote the comment about the great cloud of witnesses, it is because it is something that I talk to people about all of the time when it comes to my speaking engagements.  My audiences, followers and purchasers of my books over the years, I would estimate to be 90% Caucasian.  I am not sure how that dynamic came about, 
but it is what it is."

I was telling my mother (and several other people) that whenever I go to speak, usually to all white audiences, I feel my grandmother and great grandmother (on my mother's side) with me all of the time.  It is like they are standing there right beside me and behind me.  I think of others ..but I FEEL them.  I don't exactly know why that is, but I feel that I am doing something they could not do in their life times. 

I feel that is something that they would have liked to do ...and probably would have been 100 times better at it than me.  My grandmother and my great grandmother were teachers, both were very articulate and well read.  I am sure their poetry and their messages would have been so much more superior to mine.  Yes, I think that they probably wrote poems too.  They probably wrote poems about life in Mississippi, but I am the one who gets to read and express those poems before large captive audiences.  I read them to people who, during their times, would not have allowed them in the front door.  I read them to people that would have treated them much differently than I am treated now.  I am the one who gets to do it do this for my grannies ...,and I don't take it lightly.

Along with all of my messages about Mississippi I am "teaching" "educating" SO MANY people along the way ..about my people...the stuff I'm made of, where I come from, the kind of people that I come from..articulate, bright, determined, hard-working people ..with values, dreams, desires and goals, humor, hearts and minds just like anyone and everyone else.  With a subject along those lines, I wrote a poem called,

" We Like To Read Too".   I have two poems that I started over five years ago but have not found the right words to compete them like I feel they need to be completed. 
I haven't found the exact words to say all I want to say. 
Today I feel closer to finding those words. 
The titles are "Duty Bound ..and "In My Veins"

I want that "cloud of witnesses" to know that I am not at all discouraged by, deterred by, or ashamed of any way, shape or form a legacy of slavery (my great-great grandmother was given as a wedding gift by an Alabama slave owner to his daughter) , hurt, struggle, hardship and pain.   After all of Maya says..."Still I Rise".

 More than anything I want them to know that that legacy is cherished, appreciated and SO dear to me.  That legacy will always be cherished and uplifted in my life. 

Lupita said in her Oscar acceptance speech : "When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid." 

I, Patricia Neely-Dorsey, stand on the backs of the dreams of so many little girls (and grown women) over the generations.  Long ago, these ones, probably toiling in the blazing Mississippi sun, whose blood runs in my veins had dreams.
I stand now, as TOTAL ASSURANCE and PROOF that dreams do come true...and all dreams are valid. 

Lupita Nyong'o  poses with her award for Best Supporting Actress which she
won for her role as Patsey in the film 12 Years a Slave, at the 86th
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - March 2, 2014.

Lupita Amondi Nyong'o is an actress and music video director of dual
Kenyan and Mexican citizenship. She identifies as Mexican-Kenyan.
Born: March 1, 1983 , Mexico City, Mexico.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MARCH is National Reading Month ! It's time to READ!!!

MARCH is National Reading Month! 

~*~ READ ~*~

Many schools kick off the celebration of National reading Month with a birthday party honoring the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss, who was born March 2nd.
Green eggs and ham, along with a birthday cake, are often featured fixtures at those parties!

The goal of National Reading Month is to get children excited about reading, as well as improving their reading skills.  It is the perfect time to emphasize the importance and value of reading and to help them understand how important reading is in daily life and how it will help them achieve goals and become successful in life.  

My books, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia and My Magnolia Memories and Musings are perfect books to READ, BUY and GIVE during National Reading Month. With very simple language and relatable themes, they can be read, enjoyed and understood by readers of all ages 8 to 80 (and beyond). 
There is definitely something in my "little books of southern poems" for EVERYONE.

 Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. After attending Dartmouth College and Oxford University, he began a career in advertising.  Dr. Seuss's first children's book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, hit the market in 1937.  In 1957, Seuss's The Cat in the Hat became the prototype for one of Random House's best- selling series, Beginner Books. 
This popular series combined engaging stories with outrageous illustrations and playful sounds to teach basic reading skills.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Martin Luther King Day from Mississippi

TODAY is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King . Jr . It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)


President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King.

The White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983.

Happy Birthday" is a 1981 single written, produced, and performed by Stevie Wonder for the Motown label. Wonder, a social activist, was one of the main figures in the campaign to have the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. become a national holiday, and created this single to make the cause known.
The song, one of many of Wonder's songs to feature the use of a keyboard synthesizer, features Wonder lamenting the fact that anyone would oppose the idea of a Dr. King holiday, where "peace is celebrated throughout the world" and singing to King in the chorus, "Happy birthday to you". Wonder used the song to popularize the campaign, and continued his fight for the holiday, holding the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.

Originally written for Itawamba County MS 12th Annual King Celebration- 2011

Monday, January 6, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVIS ...from a Huge Fan In Your Hometown !

It's Elvis' Birthday Week !

Elvis fans from all over the world will be having /hosting events celebrating Elvis Presley's Birthday . I am one of those who will be celebrating ! 

The Birthplace in Tupelo held one event this past Saturday January 4th and will have another event on the actual birthday,on Wednesday, featuring various Elvis tribute artists. Festivities will start at 1pm with cake and punch! 

Everyone who knows me, knows what a huge Elvis fan I am.

They are always amused, when I frequently repeat the story of how I told my dear Hubby a few weeks after we were married that if he wanted to keep our relationship on track, there were two things that he needed to know : 

#1 I'm a star  (Hey, if I don't think it, who else will??!!!) (LOL)

#2 Elvis is still the King !  (Everyone knows that ! )

We have been married over 20 years and he faithfully remembers and repeats these facts. Sometimes, out of the blue, I will start a sentence for him to complete. While we are watching television together, I will say:

"Elvis is"... and he will dutifully chime in with "Elvis is still the King..and you are a star".  It is true that I don't particularly appreciate that monotone voice that he uses at times or that half eye roll that I seem to detect , every now and then, but that's all well and good long as he KNOWS!!! LOL!!!

Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.

                                           The King 

 It is estimated that Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide, more than anyone in record industry history. In America alone, Elvis has had over 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

                                 The Birthplace 

Thousands of tourists and fans from all over the world come to Tupelo, MS every year to visit this two room "shotgun" house built by Elvis' father, uncle and grandfather.

Art Print available ....

* Beautiful watercolor by friend Debra Estep, Ohio.

We would love to see you in Tupelo to celebrate Elvis' birthday !  

Monday, December 30, 2013


Nearing New Year's Eve of 2012, I received some very interesting news about a member of my family tree,  an ancestor, from my cousin in Memphis who is very DEEP into genealogy and is FOREVER researching the family history.  Her latest update for us was about my great- great grandmother, Lucinda Westbrook (my grandfather Neely's grandmother) .
While researching at the courthouse in West Point (both of my parents are from West Point) , my cousin found a deed from 1881, which showed that Lucinda purchased 4 acres of land for $30 (Thirty dollars) . Although she was married to Henry Westbrook at the time, he is not listed on the deed.

Dang, Y'all ..... a BLACK WOMAN with barely a foot out of slavery ..purchased some land on HER OWN in West Point , 1881 !!!! 
Did I say..BLACK??!!! Did I say WOMAN???!!! Did I say MISSISSIPPI ??!!!
Yes, I think I did !   AMAZING!!!

Don't tell we those Westbrook/Neely women ain't got it GOING ON!!!!!! 
Oh yes we do !!!!!   Woo Hoo!!!!

Going into the New Year , I have just one more reason to add to the list of many of why  I am SO PROUD of being me!

My advise to each and everyone out
there is, as always : 

Be You ! Do You ! SHINE !

Watch Night and New Year’s Eve 

in Honor of Emancipation Day

With such interesting news about a relative so close out of slavery, thoughts about our traditional New Year's Eve celebrations bring feelings of a deeper emotional connection to Watch Night services that African Americans traditionally observe on New Years Eve. 
Watch Night dates back to the end of the Civil War, with gatherings across the South on December 31, 1862, known at that time as "Freedom's Eve." In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln declared his famous Emancipation Proclamation, which set slaves in Confederate territories free as of January 1, 1863. As a result, African Americans across much of the South held religious services, in which they praised and worshiped God as they watched the New Year and freedom arrive at midnight. At the stroke of midnight, it became January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy throughout the South as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Since 1863, African Americans began observing Watch Night and New Year’s Eve in honor of Emancipation Day.

William Tolman Carlton’s painting is variously called “Watch Night — Waiting for the Hour” or ” Watch Meeting–Dec. 31st, 1862.” It was sent to President Lincoln by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.
The makeshift pulpit is made of boards salvaged from crates. The minister’s timepiece reads 11:55.
Carlton’s painting is variously called “Watch Night — Waiting for the Hour” or ” Watch Meeting–Dec. 31st, 1862.” In 1864 and also circulated widely as an engraving (below).
The painting now hangs at the White House in Washington D.C.  in what is called the Lincoln Bedroom, really that president’s study and Cabinet Room, over the desk upon which he signed the Emancipation Proclamation on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, 1862

Title: Watch meeting, Dec. 31, 1862--Waiting for the hour / Heard & Moseley, Cartes de Visite, 10 Tremont Row, Boston. Creator(s): Heard & Moseley, photographer Date Created/Published: c1863. Medium: 1 photographic print on carte de visite mount: Albumen. Summary: African American men, women, and children gathered around a man with a watch, waiting for the Emancipation Proclamation. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Copyright 1863 by W.T. Carlton.

* THIS NEW YEAR'S EVE AND NEW YEAR IS THE 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ringing In The New Year...With Greens and Black-eyed Peas !


According to tradition, this New Year’s Day tradition, southern style, dates back to the Civil War, when Union troops pillaged the land, leaving behind only black-eyed peas and greens as animal fodder.
In the North, Black-eyed Peas were known as “cowpeas” or “field peas”. Cattle ate cowpeas and humans ate only English Peas. Since the North believed that only cattle ate Black-eyed Peas and they had already either taken or eaten all of the cattle, they saw no need to destroy this crop.

At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby making the black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.
As one of the few food sources left to sustain the people and the southern soldiers, those black-eyed peas came to represent good fortune.
Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has many variations and embellishments. Served with greens, the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.

Other traditions include:

Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.

Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin.

Greens and black-eyed peas remain favorites in the southern diet, as reflected in the poem " Soul Food Restaurant" from my book
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia -a Life In Poems.
(Reflections Mississippi Magnolia - A Life in Poems -|
 Amazon link to purchase)

Also, some form of pork is to be included. (pork roast, ham hocks, hog jowls ect. )

Many, simply, just add fat back in the greens.
The pork represents health and wealth, and continued prosperity.
If a family had a hog, that hog (usually killed, dressed and stored between Thanksgiving and Christmas) could provide meat for a family for much of the entire upcoming year.
Some say that the pork also represents progress since pigs/hogs, generally, are not able to look backward without completely turning around.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Is Santa Black Or White ??? Does It REALLY Matter???



I get SOOO tired with some of these ridiculous race " issues" ...that are not real issues at all!  Are people STILL talking about, arguing about, debating and tripping over whether Santa Claus is black or white and the news anchor's, recent comment, about Santa being white??!!! Seriously??!!! Really??!!! GROWN PEOPLE ...Arguing /Debating over an imaginary /made up/fictional "character"???!!! The next thing you know ... We're gonna be having knock down drag outs about the race/color of the Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny...

Oh...My bad...You thought they were real , too ???!!!..Not Laughing!!!

Seriously, there are people dying every day from cancer, AIDS, senseless wars. starvation (Yes there are people dying of starvation).

There are rapists, murders, thieves..running rampant among us ...

There are people out there making bombs ..just waiting to inflict harm on some unknown target ..that might just end up being me or you... kids bringing guns to school kill other kids.. that could end up being one of mine or yours!!!

There are people in hospitals, nursing homes, ect. at this very moment taking their last breath or struggling to take a next one... Someone out there is burying a child.....a baby

There are military mothers, wives, families who are getting THAT call..and THAT visit ...that will let them know that their loved one won't be making it back home for Christmas ..or EVER!   

Do you think that any of those people give a flying flip about whether a "Santa Claus" is white or black...or Technicolor??!!!!

I mean...really, If you are the one or one of the ones who has all the answers to the mysteries of the universe.. I beg and plead of you to put all of the knowledge to use and help us solve some things that matter!!!!

In the mean time .. If you want YOUR Santa to be white...then your Santa is white.

If you want YOUR Santa to be black..then your Santa is black.

If you want your child to sit on a white Santa's knee..then go take him/her to sit on a white Santa's knee.

If you want your child to sit on a black Santa's knee..then do that. I did.

Of course, there are some people that do not believe in the Bible, so this might , also ,offend some people...

But, I I offer a scripture which I believe in.

2 Timothy 2:23

New International Version: Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Kings James Version

23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

A few more words of wisdom from one of my favorite writers, "shade tree philosopher" and humorist Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens ) :

"Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience."


PRAYER: Dear Lord, during this holiday season, and always, help us to remember, be thankful for, enjoy, appreciate and concern ourselves with the things that REALLY matter.

 * We lost 6 U.S. military members on December 17th in Afghanistan, of injuries suffered as a result of a helicopter crash. 

Killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, 34, of Heavener, Okla.,

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, 35, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and

Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, 29, of Willow Spring, N.C.

Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, of Marietta, Ga., assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 30, of Elkhart, Ind., assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

Spc. Terry K. D. Gordon, 22, of Shubuta, Miss., assigned to 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.