“What Does It ALL Mean?!?”

Happy Friday, Y’all! 

And as usual, I am sending out a huge fist bump in the form of a “TGIF” of your choosing!  Remember, either “Thank God It’s Friday!” or “Thank Goodness I’m Friendly!” … or come up with one of your own … or NOT!  That’s me so … TGIF!

I am always grateful for readers of these e-mails which I  magically turn in to “blog posts” every Friday so far.  Some may ask, as I do from time to time just to stay on point with my vision, “So why do you do these writings and what do you hope to accomplish?”  The answer can be as simple as you like or as complicated as you’d like to make it.  I’ll keep it simple … I like people to know that there are perhaps “others” out there like “them” or “me” or “you” or anyone else that may feel defeated by life’s circumstances which we often invite or allow.  So, I offer my anecdotes often based on my own personal experiences … both good and not so good … as an example of how one might overcome challenging circumstances.  Sometimes, we have to look inside of ourselves for the courage, fortitude, self respect and self confidence, which are not always “available” due to the circumstances, when the external “life lines” are not available.  I jokingly tell myself sometimes “We shall overcome!” or “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference!” … just keep it simple stupid!!  Needless to say, it’s not that easy!  I can tell you that I’ve made MYSELF scared straight enough to want to prevent ANY unnecessary drama.  It takes confidence, which one has to build by being “successful” at things like sports or music … singing or dancing …  maybe even academic excellence and interests!!  Who knows!!?  Think outside the box.  Train yourself, even!

So, it all means that I care enough to write about things that matter to me … that I see in the world today.  I think I have a talent of caring and loving enough and writing it down to capture someone’s attention and help them “along their way”!  Of course, it can be a kind of symbiotic relationship with most people as we “feed off of each other’s goodness” while hopefully not being parasitic!  There were times when I thought long and hard, meditated even … got acupuncture treatments … ate different foods, incorporated stuff like turmeric in my diet.  I have dabbled in many aspects of a healthy life style with a focus on wellness.  Yoga gives me some discipline while aiding my circulation of both air and blood.  You’ve heard of probiotics, and surely you know the anti-aging properties of ginseng … good stuff, I think  Now, please keep in mind that you are free to think that I am “full of malarkey”, which is cool.  I am just offering alternate ways of viewing things that we all share in common.  And please, just so you know, I don’t entertain conspiracy theories ‘round here unless you’ve got proof.  And, as you are free to disagree with me, I will feel free to disagree with you!!  Hopefully we can agree on two things … Peace and Respect … for each other, for the world we live in, and for our “sisters and brothers”!


John I. Cook, Director

Say His Name: “George Floyd”!

Yes, Yes, Y’all!  It’s Friday again!!  We got more rain last night and this morning out here in the Tropics!  So, TGIF with me then ’cause “Baby, some rain MUST fall!”  Do it right quick, “TGIF”!

Well, I am definitely glad that this “pot of grease” didn’t have to explode on “the streets of America …”.  Imagine #45 calling LeBron James a racist because of ONE tweet, which he later removed, cautioning people of color to be aware.  LeBron admitted his rash judgement (can you blame him!) while professional moron #45 has never admitted he’s wrong about anything!!  Here’s a “moron” who was sued by AND PAID the Federal government for racist rental practices!  This “cockroach” is still preaching that he is president!!!  The racist monster, as is clearly seen on his face in the 9 minute plus video filmed by a 17 year old girl of color, kneeled on the neck of a grown African American man handcuffed behind his back laying on the filthy street while urinating on himself and calling for his “Momma” …. has been found GUILTY on ALL counts for murdering Mr. Floyd!  Yaay!  We need to get the soul of America back, if possible, and keep the “hate spreaders” on notice!!  At least we know this one cop will be off the streets for good.

We all know what a hypocrite looks and sounds like.  In our daily “adventures”, be sure to “raise the bar” in your interactions with fellow humans.  It’s the low, desperate reactions in situations, especially regarding race and gender, that has led to the decline of RESPECT for human dignity!!  Would you want YOUR friend or family member to be “put to death” on the street over a questionable counterfeit financial transaction by a person hired to “protect and serve” its citizens?!  Don’t lie to me!!!

As I often suggest in my writing, we CAN be better than this … America, once leader of the “free world”.  We humans can do this but we have to WORK together … not FIGHT each other over every little childish thing!  Thanks for reading!


John I. Cook, Director

Spiritual Warfare Part II

Happy Friday, ALL!

Take an opportunity to be grateful this fine day!  So, TGIF with me then!  Thank you, kindly!!

Have you ever had those experiences when you were doing “the best that you can” and things still seemed to NOT be going your way?!  Have you ever wondered “where was God” when you needed “It”  (some folks believe that It is a feminine spirit or energy!)?  It’s funny sometimes how we doubt our own creation  by a Power greater than ourselves  … as if we did it ourselves!  Many of us have NOT had that moment of clarity when we find out what we are really made of!  I was experiencing some doubt of my Creator as I have been faced with different challenges while living in another country.  Now it’s not my first “rodeo” living in another country, and I am fluent enough in Spanish to handle some intellectual conversations.  Yet, I wondered why my Creator has allowed some things to “trouble” me …. But it was ME who allowed those things to “trouble” me!  This is what I am referring to when I mention “spiritual warfare” which is different for each of us, should we decide to believe!  The relief check from the US government hasn’t arrived yet and things have gotten a bit tough.

Of course, with a little help from my friends (you know who you are!) I am able to move forward with some delicate financial situations!  Thanks, y’all!  As well, I am learning more mental discipline as I fathom ways to remedy situations with my focus on “peace”!  If you know me, you know that I can “take care of myself” and often have to “dial down” my anger!!  It’s reached a boiling point several times in the past two months.  Once, a couple of friends from Italy and Norway encouraged me to “breathe deep” when I saw the monster moron who decided to “create” one of the most uncomfortable living situations I have experienced in my life!  THIS is when it is important to “know thyself”!!  So, I breathed deep … walked around a tiny space for a minute or two … then I went back to sit down with my friends!  I thanked them as I often do when I realize that someone has “helped” me!  THIS is also why it is important to surround yourself with cool friends who encourage “you” to be the best that you can!!

Growing up going to Church, often flanked by Isaac and Marietta – my parents, I learned to sit still at a young age.  The church I attended, Bethel Baptist Church, was right there in The Winbrook Projects where many of my childhood friends grew up!  I also want to thank all of “youse” who stop by my pages, be it the blog or social media, and show me some “love, understanding, and support” especially on the heels of the release of “Cooking With Life!” on Amazon and Kindle!  Of course, while I “stewed” in my discontent, I had forgotten my many many accomplishments in life that I am sure some folks are actually envious, not that I care.  A while back in my personal development I learned to take that same “envy” that folks display and put it into my “self confidence” tank and burn it to “ease on down the road”!  And in case you’re wondering, I was “the Tin Man” in my elementary school production of “The Wizard of Oz”!  So, don’t sleep on the fact that I know about “higher powers”!  What about you?!  That relationship becomes important when one is faced with “human lowness” and become the subject of the lack of decency displayed by some fellow humans.  This is “spiritual warfare” as I learned about in my youth while attending Church with my parents!

Go forth and enjoy your day!  I see sun shining through the windows here as I write!

“Be yourself because you are YOU!”  -John I. Cook, SPS Yearbook 1972!


John I. Cook, Director


Good Day All, and a Happy Friday!  Yep, that’s what I said!  So, hit the Universe with a TGIF!  BOOM!

Yeah, I’m up early after a great day yesterday, nothing special, but no serious problems!  As far as the character who refuses to return the $500.00 security deposit I had paid him with a receipt and all, he’s still “holding” on to it …   On Monday, I visited the “OIJ” here – Organismo de Investigacion Judicial – near Puerto Viejo in Hone Creek.  When I got to speak with a representative, she first said that the “contract” was done improperly … no witnesses or notarization … not to mention the content and structure.  I kind of knew from having signed rental agreements in the States, but simply tried to have a document to protect myself.  Cut to the chase – I would need to hire a “civil attorney” for like $500.00 to represent me in “civil court” in the municipality of Limon, Costa Rica, with NO guarantee.  Of course, I let the “folks” here know via social media about the developments.  Not that I need ANYONE’S opinion regarding my measly $500.00 but there were a few “envious” nuts in “the peanut gallery” who questioned my judgment.  Most tenants whose landlords “confiscated” or kept their deposits have resigned themselves to accepting their loss.  For me, it’s the FIRST time and I am NOT getting use to it!!  I am going out verbally “swinging” and with a fury!!  I just paid $400.00 deposit for an $850.00 place, so …  That’s me!!

On the other hand, I’ve decided to “pick up my shingle” for Educational Excellence and go Stateside for my birthday, July 13th. I’m working on going to Ft. Lauderdale first (maybe my “relief” check is there!) to check my mailbox and order some of my new paperback books.  My only “offspring”, Ayanna Lynne, said that we could all meet up, grandson included, in Florida somewhere!  Either way – hotel room and/or “friends” places – I should be able to see them again!  Can you say “Happy Feelings”?!?

So, “Cooking With Life!” is out via Amazon and Kindle!  I wanted to make my “Momma” proud by completing and dedicating the book in her memory!  Besides, she was there at “The African American Research Library and Cultural Center” in Ft. Lauderdale where I did my first book signing for my first manuscript entitled, “From the Projects to Princeton”.  It is true that we ALL have a story … I just choose to “tell” mine, truth included.

Thanks for reading and keeping me in your “positive vibrations” and thoughts!


John I. Cook, Director

“Believe It … Or NOT!”

Happy Friday, Again “Mi Gente”!

So, I’m going to do my usual greeting, “TGIF!”  Do yours at your own pace … or NOT!!

First of all, I want to thank those of you who purchased a copy of “Cooking With Life!”: Cookbook III.  It is truly an honor to STILL be here to tell my story!  Thank ALL you good people!  Remember, for me, it’s not about the money only, but “the message”.

I’ve become a bit more selective in making friends nowadays ‘cause some folks … often the closest … can’t be trusted!  If you let some folks get too close, they often break out in “jealousy”, especially if they can’t compare!  Why should ANYbody be comparing stuff?!?  I try to share!! These folks are desperate for ways to get “the upper hand” because they feel so small, insignificant and powerless.  Destructive behavior usually follows!!  “Look OUT!”

Completing my manuscript and getting it into print is the MAIN reason that I stopped in “Puerto”.  I had to write a little here and a little there but got most of it done over the nearly two years that I spent at “Caribbean” Miss Ana’s house with the extra bedroom upstairs!  There is something about “space” in a “home” and the freedom to walk around in it … naked, if you want … that makes the place “home”!!  Imagine living in a tiny box of a studio with a “peeping Tom” property manager!!  Not too cozy, I felt boxed in … VIOLATED even … and definitely NO PRIVACY!  Where I am now is like the difference between night and day!!  After getting a FULL refund through Bank of America from “iUniverse” and finding out from my old school mate that I can self-publish with Amazon/Kindle nearly for free, I got to work on the manuscript in the “new” place.  After 2 weeks, I completed the tasks online to publish the e-book.  Two weeks later, I submitted a request to publish the paperback.  That’s why I need a nice place to live in and write.  “Drama FREE Zone”!

Some folks like to tell “tall tales” as my Mother used to call a “liar”!  My Dad, “Big Ike”, on the other hand, had no interest in lies or liars!!  To this day, I give ” Big Ike” credit for instilling in me the value of “truth telling”.  After all, how is a friendship, a family … even a so-called “nation state” supposed to be built on and survive on lies?!  In fact, it won’t … look at the USA today as its so-called “leaders” specialize in spinning LIES!  Don’t get me wrong now, Vladimir Putin and the Chinese government’s leader  – Xi – ONLY tell LIES!  The former president of the States was trying to take the USA  down the “rabbit hole” of lies that he likes to spin!  Now there is a Congress and a country divided on “the BIG Lie” about the election for president!  I, like my Father, don’t deal with liars as they attempt to “spin” you into “their” reality – “believe it … or NOT”!

Have a great day, a groovy Easter season and I hope youse had a peaceful Passover!  I love you guys.  Thanks for reading!


John I. Cook, Director

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