As public awareness grows about lead in toys and precautions are being taken to reduce exposure to lead… the same effort is needed as it relates to water.

tap water

If you live in a home with running water, your water most likely contains lead. How much lead? I don’t know but there are ways to test, filter, and significantly reduce the amount of lead in your water (which we’ll get to later).

A few years back an artists wrote a compelling song about water. It wasn’t one of those songs you hear on the radio…at least it never made rotation on any of the stations I listened too.

The recent oil spill in San Francisco made me think about the song because there’s a line in it in which the artist says:

Used to be free now it cost you a fee
Cause oil tankers spill they load as they roam cross the sea

Today I had to play the song a few times (its always been a favorite you can listen to it by clicking on the video below) but now I’m feeling the lyrics even more.

We just paid our water bill the other day and today I find myself pondering what exactly are we paying for? What the hell is in that water that we get the pleasure of paying for every month?

What am I paying for when I buy a bottle of Aquafina and whats the difference between what comes out of my sink or shower head and bottled water?

For as long as I can remember my grandmother has always boiled her water. It didn’t really make sense to me as a kid but I certainly get it now! Am I just a housewife with too much time on her hands? 

Read this before you answer that rhetorical question: (more…)

When I was growing up there was a commercial that every little girl and woman knew word for word and it still rings til this day. Men and boys are also very familiar with this commercial. I would even dare go as far as to say that this commercial may have helped shaped their opinions and ideas about women…..I’m sure you remember these lyrics:

I can bring home the bacon…

fry it up in a pan…

and never let you forget

You’re a Man….

Cause I’m a Woman!

The commercial paints the picture of a woman/wife/mom that maintains a successful career and happy well taken care of home/family life. This Super Woman (more…)

Laterian TasbyOn Saturday 17 year old Laterian Tasby was shot and killed at a Halloween party after a fight broke out. Laterian was an athlete and student leader at San Pedro High School.

He was not a gang member although police say his death maybe gang related. School staff, team mates, and family members are adamant that Laterian Tasby was not involved with gangs. He was known as a hard worker, a mediator, and a peacemaker with a warm personality. Laterian Tasby was trying to make something of himself. He understood the importance of education and took his school work and athletics seriously. He had dreams and goals…but on Saturday his life was taken.

What happened at the party is still unclear and the shooter has not been identified.

According to (more…)

I am so excited and proud to announce that Living Life Abundantly a.k.a. Marenda.Biz was recently honored with the Totally Fabulous Award by Annita at FootPrints.

Thanks Annita, of the millions of blogs you could have chosen…thank you for thinking of, considering, and choosing mine :) This means a lot!


The award was started by Christy of ChristysCoffeebreak and Ann of ANicePlaceintheSun to recognize “bloggers who are fun, cool, and of course Totally Fabulous!

Recipients of the award pass it on to 5 Totally Fabulous Bloggers.

Today I bestow this honor upon the following 5 in no particular order:

1. InspiredbyAction

2. PJMommy

3. SuburbQueen

4. AngryBlackWoman

5. 40sSingleness

to·tal·ly: wholly; entirely; completely.

fab·u·lous: almost impossible to believe; incredible.

I encourage you to visit all 5 to really appreciate why I chose them. Enjoy!

I think saggin pants look ridiculous. It is neither fashionable or sexy. Why wear pants if they hang past your underwear. Why not wear a pair of chaps :)

I recently received this interesting email forward about “saggin” so here it is enjoy:

Subject: S-A-G-G-I-N
The Other Day, A friend of mine came to my dorm room just to chat while her laundry was drying. As we were chatting, two young freshmen came by. One of the boys wanted to “talk” to my friend (as in date). She asked him how old they were, and both of the boys replied 18. My friend and I both laughed hysterically because we are both 22 years old. After my friend left, the young men were still hanging around and one wanted to know how he could gain her interest.

The first thing I told him to do was to pull up his pants! He asked why, then said he like saggin’ his pants. I told him to come over to my computer and spell the word saggin’. Then I told him to write the word saggin’ backwards.
I told him the origin of that look was from prison. Men in prison wore their pants low when they were spoken for. The other reason their pants looked like that was because they were not allowed to have belts because prisoners were likely to try to commit suicide.


We as young black people have to be the ones to effect change. We are dying. The media has made a mockery of the Black American. Even our brothers and sisters from Africa don’t take us seriously. Something as simple as pulling up your pants and standing with your head high could make the biggest difference in the world’s perception of us. It is time to do right by ourselves. We need to love and embrace each other. No one is going to do it for us.

It all comes down to perception. What people perceive is what is reality to them. We have to change not only the media’s perception of us, but we need to change our perception of ourselves. Remember all eyes are on you Black Man. All eyes are on you Black Woman. All eyes are on you Black Child. People are waiting for us to mess up. We have let not only the media, but the government and the world taint the pure essence of us. They have stripped our culture down to the point where we only believe we can become rappers and athletes. We are so much more.

To all my black men:
Its time to stand up. There are billions of Black Women who want to do nothing more than worship the ground that you walk on. We are so in love with your potential. We want to have your back, we want to love, support and cherish every ounce of your being. But with that you have to show that you are willing to be the head of our households. You have to prove yourselves worthy of our submission. We need you to be hard working…Not a hustler. We need you to seek higher education, to seek spirituality. We need you to stand! And trust us; we will have your back. We know that it gets hard, we know you get weary. Trust and believe that there is nothing that a Black Woman and a Black Man can’t handle with GOD on their sides.

To all my Black Women:
It is also time for us to stand up. It is time for us to stop using our bodies as our primary form of communication. It is time to be that virtuous woman that Proverbs spoke of. We can not sit by the wayside while our men are dying by the masses. We are the epitome of Black Love. It starts within us. We need to speak with conviction to let not only our Black Men know, but the world knows that we are the Mothers of this world. We are so powerful. We are so beautiful. We need to love and embrace every blessing God has given us physically, emotionally and spiritually.

For all My Black Children:
We need to love them. We need to teach them. We need to stand up for them. We need to protect them. We need to show them that there are no “get rich quick” schemes. We need to tell them that they WILL die trying if they submit to a life of crime and deceit. We need to teach our children that no one will love them the way we can. And being a basketball player, a rapper, or a drug dealer is not reality. It’s not realistic and only a small percentage of people ever make it as a rapper or professional athlete. We need to teach our children that we can be more than rappers and athletes. We can be the owners of these sports teams; we can be the CEO’s of our fortune 500 companies. We need to believe in literacy. I am almost certain if we were to look back to the 1930′s and 40′s, the literacy rates for Black American Children are probably still the same.
Ok…I am stepping off of my soap box now. Pull Up Your Pants!!

—by CM Lewis


Marenda Says:

I find this email forward very interesting. The author makes some great points... However, I would have to say that striving to be a basketball player, rapper, or whatever one aspires to be (regardless of the percentage of people actually realizing the dream), is and can be a reality with hard work, determination, talent, and resolve.

I don’t necessarily think that being an owner of a sports team or a CEO of a fortune 500 company equates to being “more than rappers or professional athletes.” (I guess I’m not clear on what is meant by more than).

Magic Johnson was an awesome professional athlete and clearly he’s running successful businesses throughout the country. Jay-Z is rapper with part ownership in a sports team and other business ventures.

“They have stripped our culture down to the point where we only believe we can become rappers and athletes.”

I think it maybe an urban legend that people in the black community have reached the point that they believe they can only be rappers or athletes. For every black child that wants to be a rapper or athlete there are 10 more that want to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, computer programmers, etc…

We need to teach our children that they can be whatever they want to be and that they can achieve their goals. We need to encourage and support them 100%. We need to teach our children to think outside of the box and to create their own opportunities. We need to teach our children how to invest (and diversify their porfolios). We need to help our children become well rounded individuals across the board.

There are no limits to what anyone can do, be, or accomplish. The only limits that exists are those which we place upon ourselves. Living Life Abundantly is knowing and understanding that we have limitless possibilities. Living Life Abundantly also means realizing that a job, title, position, social status, financial standing, does not make you more than(>) or less than(<) anyone else. We are all equal (=). the sooner we learn and embrace our humanity the sooner we can get on with Living Life Abundantly.

Remember when Hip Hop songs meant something? remember when there was a relevant message? Today I take you way back with an important blast from the past.

This song burned deep in my mind this morning as I ran a few errands throughout my neighborHOOD. The last verse of the song struck a nerve deep down with an intensity that I’m hard pressed to explain…

If your neighborHOOD is like mine perhaps you’ll feel me…

The last verse of The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five:

A child is born, wih no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind

God is smiling but he is frowning too
Cause only god knows what you go through

You grow in the ghetto, living second rate
And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate

The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alley way

You’ll admire all the numberbook takers;
thugs, pimps, pushers and the big money makers
Driving big cars, spending twenties and tens
And you wanna grow up to be just like them

Smugglers, scrambles, burglars, gamblers
Pickpocketers, peddlers and even pan-handlers
You say I’m cool, I’m no fool
But then you wind up dropping out of highschool

Now you’re unemployed, all null ‘n’ void
Walking around like you’re pretty boy Floyd

Turned stickup kid, look what you done did
Got send up for a eight year bid
Now your man hood is took and you’re a Maytag
Spend the next two years as an undercover fag
Being used and abused, and served like hell
Till one day you was find hung dead in a cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young

Don’t push me, cause I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to loose my head
It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under

The Power of Words