September 30, 2012

Professional Gig Demo Recording

Access the link below to listen to Classical, Hymn & Romantic melody samples.

Click HERE.

Meggan Anderson can provide music to suit a variety of occasions to make the ordinary extraordinary.  Solo violin is ideal for weddings, dinner parties, luncheons, brunch gatherings, anniversary dinners, retirement celebrations, Christmas parties, etc.

Indoor or outdoor, public or private, the violin will add a taste of class & elegance to any event, large or small, casual or fancy.

Surprise and impress your spouse with live solo violin music at an affordable, competitive price and make your anniversary extra special.

Church luncheons or garden brunches, a live musician is just as portable as a CD player and brings an exciting conversation piece for your guests.

Contact Meggan for a price quote and/or to book an event, large or small.
Comment on this post, email or call 770.841.5547.

September 26, 2012

Black Hair

Sometimes I get questions about how to daily care for black hair.  All of the following is from personal experience.

Most girls and women desire to have long hair because it is a mark of our femininity in the current culture and has been, probably since Creation.  The best way, and for many the only way, black females are able to grow their hair is to let it remain natural.  By natural I mean without chemical additives that permanently damage the hair.  She would always wear it as an afro.  As soon as she begins to process her hair with chemicals and heat, the strength is compromised, it becomes very fragile and breaks very easily.  If a black woman keeps her hair natural, then it is actually very easy to maintain on a daily basis.  Using a wide-toothed comb she might part her hair into sections, comb or brush each section and braid them individually or style into afro puffs.  She might like cornrows, twists, dreds or even braided extensions.  These former styles can last up to several weeks or years (dreds) if washed carefully.  Daily apply some grease (it's like a translucent solid oil, like see-through Crisco or petroleum jelly) or braid oil spray and style as desired.

Do not wash black hair daily.  This robs the hair of essential oils as the texture is dry and brittle.  Once a week is sufficient but no more than twice a week.  Rinsing the hair might be okay if no cleansers are applied (I don't have a beautician's license, so ask a professional if you have further questions.)

Once the black woman begins to chemically treat her hair, then much more maintenance is required so that it will not break off.  I have a permanent relaxer that I apply to my roots every 6 weeks or so.  When I wash my hair, no more than twice weekly, I use a moisturizing shampoo for treated/damaged hair.  I follow that with a deep penetrating conditioning reconstructor that I rinse out after 5 - 10 minutes, then I use a leave-in conditioner.  Before blow drying my hair I apply an oil moisturizer while it's still a little damp so that the oil can have more even coverage.  I let my hair air dry for a while for two reasons: 1. From start to finish, it takes a lot of time that a busy momma just can't risk leaving her small children unattended for so long if they're awake; and 2. To minimize the amount of heat applied to the hair.  After blow drying I will use a hot curling iron to turn the ends under.  At night I will cover my head with a silk scarf to prevent elastic bands from further breaking my hair.  The curls will stay intact if I avoid humidity until it's next washing.  Daily I apply an oil moisturizer before combing to my desired style.

It sounds like a lot of work.  Maintaining a relaxed style is a lot of work especially when I touch up my roots and when I wash it.  But my natural texture is a very thick afro that I affectionately call my "rat's nest."  To me, I really enjoy being able to comb my hair.  With a natural head of hair, combing is not possible.  As soon as I comb or brush the knots out of a section of hair, it just gets knotted back up in less than ten seconds unless I cornrow or braid it.  Plus, my husband prefers to be able to run his fingers through my hair, which would be impossible if I maintained an afro.  Maybe one day, when I reach 50, I'll forsake the perm and go natural with a feminine afro and accent with some flowers, jewels or large gold hoop earrings.  If you do see a black woman with a beautifully shaped afro, be kind and don't go poke a hole in it or scrunch it with your hands.  It probably took her 20 minutes to get it to look that way.

September 21, 2012

Beans Are Cheap, Beano Is Not

This has been an interesting observation as I've passed through the grocery store.  Beans are beneficial because they are high in protein and are a vegetable.  They are high in fiber, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese.  Read my source article HERE.   They help lower cholesterol and reduce your risks for coronary disease and heart attacks.  Some beans, like black beans, have many antioxidants that reduce your risk for developing some types of cancer and help you fight illnesses.  Beans do not have the steroids and hormones that many meats are pumped with and, therefore, will not react negatively to growing children's bodies or those who struggle with mood swings (like me).  These are some of the reasons why I've tried to add more beans to our family's diet.  Here are some bean recipes I really enjoy.

Neli's Puerto Rican Garbanzos
1 lb. dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs Sofrito Red Tomato Base
2 links smoked or breakfast sausage (about hot dog size)
3 or 4 Tbs Tomato Sauce
1 packet Sazon Goya con culantro y achiote (that's coriander & annatto)
one of the following vegetables, chopped:
2 potatoes, 1 spanish squash, 1 large carrot or 1/2 yellow ripe plaintain

Soak the beans overnight.  Rinse the beans and boil about 1 hour until softened.  In a separate pot or skillet combine the oil, sofrito, sausage, tomato sauce and sazon cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the beans & vegetable and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 20 - 25 minutes.  Add water for desired consistency.  Serve over rice.
*Variation: use any dried bean - pink, pinto, white navy, black beans.
 from Nelida Rivera

Cuban Black Beans
1 lb. dry black beans
1 green bell pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz. of tomato sauce
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight.  Rinse.  In a large pot, place beans and cover with 2 inches of water.  Add green bell pepper, bay leaves, tomato sauce, salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a skillet saute the onion, garlic & cumin in olive oil until translucent then add to the beans.   Reduce heat to simmer & cover until thickened, about 1 hour.  Add the vinegar and simmer another 30 minutes.  Serve over rice.
from Dr. Jorge Campana 

Sausage Lentil Soup
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 lb. dry lentils, rinsed
1 cup ham, diced
1 medium onion, minced
1 small green bell pepper
1 medium carrot
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
30 oz beef broth
30 oz chicken broth
2 cups spinach

Combine all ingredients except for the spinach in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the lentils are tender.  Add the spinach and let stand 5 - 10 minutes until the spinach wilts.  Remove the bay leaf and enjoy.
from Menus for Moms

White Chicken Chili
5 - 6 cups Great White Northern beans (I use 1 lb. dry beans, soaked & rinsed)
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 cups minced onions
1 Tbs olive oil
8 oz chopped green chiles
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cloves
4 cups cooked chicken
1 hot pepper, seeded & minced *optional

Saute the onions & garlic in olive oil.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer until the beans are soft (if using dried beans) about 1 1/2 hours.  Garnish with sour cream, jack cheese & onions.  Dip with tortilla chips, also good over rice.
 from Wanda Jackson

Our Best Baked Beans
5 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
32 oz canned baked beans, drained
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup hickory-smoke bbq sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover & cook on Low setting for 8 to 12 hours (on High for 2 - 3 hours).  Makes about 1 1/2 quarts, 6 - 8 servings.
 by Marilyn Neill

Bowman Black-eyed Pea Stew
Combine in a pot:
1 lb. dry black-eyed peas, soaked & rinsed
1/4 head cabbage, chopped
16 oz can tomatoes
3 potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, sliced
9 or 10 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Add sliced yellow squash and zucchini to make it even nicer.  Simmer until beans are soft.
from Madia Bowman 

September 18, 2012

Black Christians Waver Over Vote

THIS is a very interesting article.  It explains that black Christians are having a difficult time reconciling the upcoming vote because of Obama's new position on homosexuality and Romney's Mormonism.  They cannot in good faith vote for Obama while he supports homosexuality nor can they vote for Romney in good confidence because Mormonism has always been a racist cult.  So many black preachers are telling their congregants to stay home on election day.

As a Reformed black conservative Christian woman, I considered sharing my reactions to this article.  First I was amazed that black churches are so concerned about the problem of Obama's position on gay marriage conflicting with his claim of being a Christian, and yet are completely unconcerned about his position on abortion. His positions on financial stewardship (fiscal responsibility) or just war (righteous war) or any number of values are not consistent with an orthodox Biblical worldview. He is a communist who hates America's history, economic success, and worldwide influence.

Secondly I was amazed that black pastors are openly advocating certain political candidates without threats to remove their tax-exempt, non-profit status.  Pastors in Canada, and soon in the US, are threatened to remove this status by preaching that homosexuality is a sin, as the Bible teaches.  Many pastors are already feeling this heat.  Most of these black pastors advocate liberal Democratic politicians, so preaching politics from the pulpit (where most of their congregants vote according to their pastors) is okay.  You have got to love the hypocrisy from the liberal left.

Thirdly I considered the work of the Empowerment Network, "a national coalition of about 30 denominations working to register congregants and provide them with background on health care, the economy, education and other policy issues."  These policy issues are not the most important crises facing our nation now.  These polices are social issues, government programs.  They have nothing to do with the national debt or foreign relations.  These policies cater to the individual and do not reflect on the principal reasons why we have a federal government, namely national protection and economy.

Truthfully I don't fully agree with either candidate.  I would never vote for Obama because his claims of being a Christian and his policies are completely juxtaposed and he is a communist who hates economic freedom.  I hesitantly give my vote to Romney because I have issues with his Mormonism, but he is more conservative fiscally, he's a capitalist and he's a family man.  To vote for a third party will not put any man in office, so a vote for Romney is a vote against Obama.

September 14, 2012

A Legacy

While nursing yesterday I spoke with Jeramy on the phone while he was at work.  Moriah and Lily were sitting on the floor opposite me waiting patiently for me to finish.  When I hung up the phone Moriah asked me where Daddy was and I told her that he was at work.  Then she said, "When I grow up I'm not going to work."  I was a little curious at first and didn't respond immediately.  Then she quickly said, "I'm going to stay home and breastfeed babies."  Then Lily looked at me and said the same thing.  The conversation then turned to how many babies they were each going to have - how many boys and how many girls.  

This unprompted conversation really gave me a lot of encouragement.  As you can imagine, it is very difficult to stay home and raise four children four years old and younger.  I find it especially difficult because I was raised for a career, not motherhood.  Christ has redeemed me from that misplaced priority and brought me home with my children.  Feminism is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In the Gospel we find eternality and we raise the next generation with generations ahead in mind.  Feminism and the post-modern worldview of our day tells us to look out only for ourselves in our own lifetime.  The goals of personal peace and affluence die with you.  But God calls us to raise the next generation to love and fear Him so that for generations, people might love and fear Him.  Those expressed goals of my daughters let's me know that, although I fail often to exercise the fruits of the Spirit, there is something honorable and God-glorifying that I'm imparting to my children.

May Christ be praised!

September 2, 2012

Look Who's Two!

Happy Birthday Shiphrah!

She turned two years on August 17th.  She has blessed us with many smiles and laughs.  I'm so glad God gave her to us.