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Sunday, August 2, 2015

July was a Great Month!

July is my birthday month and this year it was an especially fun month, even though it has been dreadfully hot and humid!

For my birthday, my sister and our friend Lupe planned a day trip to Monterrey, California. We left home early, around 7 am and arrived right around noon. First thing we did was something that has almost become a tradition for the three of us. We hit Ross Dress for Less. We love to shop at Ross!

After that we headed for Fisherman's Wharf where we took a ride on a glass bottom boat. Unfortunately due to the algae in the ocean we couldn't see anything but green and every once in a while some seaweed. 



But we were able to see some pretty cool harbor seals just lounging around sunning themselves on rocks.

We had a great dinner at El Torito Restaurant. I had bacon wrapped shrimp and Lisa and Lupe both had Vegetarian Fajitas.


Then the highlight of the trip for me, the 17 mile drive.

17-Mile Drive is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The famous coastal landmark runs through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach, from the dramatic Pacific coastline to the majestic Del Monte Forest. The awe-inspiring vistas and legendary sites can easily fill an entire day with exploration and discovery, although visitors with less time should not miss the opportunity to experience this wondrous journey as well.

This whole drive is so beautiful. Unfortunately we got there pretty late and it was almost sunset so we couldn't lolly-gaggle as much as I would have like too, but we still enjoyed it.

One of many stops along the way - 17 mile drive


Another stop - 17 mile drive, my sister Lisa and I


Me on the Beach - 17 mile drive


Magical Sunset - 17 mile drive

It was a great day and a long drive home but well worth it. Next time we go though we will definitely make it an over night trip and take our time on the 17 mile drive.

Then my dear friend and co-worker Angie provided a special treat she made just for me. Low Carb even!


She gave me a beautiful silver ring with a purple stone, she bought me Starbucks and she made a low -carb cheese cake with a beautiful strawberry design on top. This cheesecake even had a chocolate crust!. She also invited a lady that works next door that has become a good friend, Maria. It was a very special way to start my birthday, even though I chose to work that day (our employer give us our birthday off, I'm save it for something else).

Then last night we went to a surprise birthday party for my niece Sarena. She is my baby brothers oldest child and she turned 25. We got to dress in costume and had a lot of fun with family and we danced til we dropped!

Lisa and I with our niece Sarena

My sister Lisa, me and our brother Jaime with our mother
The today was a Baby J Sunday! Yay! Love this precious little girl and the older she gets the more fun and funny she is!



So July was a very good month for me! A very busy month. Not sure what August has in store as I don't have any plans but time will tell.


 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Low Carb Cheeseburger - Not Your Average Quarter Pounder with Cheese!

One of the hardest things about eating LCHF (low carb, high fat) is eating out at restaurants, but it can be done!

Today I want to share a tip about eating at fast food places. McDonald's has always been one of my favorites. 


Photo Credit - McDonald's.com
At McDonald's my favorite was the Quarter Pounder with Cheese! The whole meal with fries and a drink. Of course you have to buy the meal, it's cheaper that way...that's where they get you!

The other day I woke up and was exhausted and couldn't even begin to imagine what I was going to take to the office for my lunch. So I didn't take anything. Lunch time rolled around and I had the bright idea to go to McDonald's and get a burger and bring it back to the office and throw away the bread. 

That's exactly what I did, I bought just the burger, took both the buns and threw them in the trash and ate just the meat, cheese, onions, pickles, mustard and ketchup. It was delicious, you could really taste the meat and condiments, whereas before I just tasted bread.

So I've been trying the bun less burger at other restaurants. The great thing is to order it bun less, or lettuce wrapped, that way you don't waste food by throwing away the bun...it killed me to throw away the bun!

When I got home from work today, I was wondering what I could have for dinner. I had made some ground turkey with taco seasoning last night. 

So I thought maybe I could mimic the quarter pounder with cheese using the ground turkey and no bun. Check out this beauty!



I heated up my previously cooked ground turkey in the microwave. While that was heating I sliced up some iceberg lettuce, dill pickle and onion and took out a cheese slice. 

I put down a layer of the lettuce, then the cheese slice and then the hot ground turkey. I plopped on a dollop of mayonnaise and liberally topped it all with yellow mustard. Put down my pickles and onion and Voila! 


I have to tell you it was delicious! I ate it with a spoon and it was easier than eating it wrapped. Since the turkey was already ground and not cooked as a patty it was easy to just pick it up with a spoon so I was sure to get a great bite in every spoon.

The whole thing was LCHF, as you can see from the nutrition info from myfitnesspal.com food diary that I enter information into.

The first column is calories, then carbs, then fat, protein, sodium and fiber, giving me a total net carb of 5. When I'm trying to stick with 20 to 24 carbs per day that is pretty great for just one meal, one very filling and satisfying meal. I think I'm having this for lunch tomorrow!

Just for he sake of comparison, below I have the nutrition info for a quarter pounder with cheese with the works, as it comes straight from McDonald's, as I used to eat it. See that? 42 carbs!

Nutrition Info  - McDonalds.com

Here's the nutrition info without the bun and without ketchup, as ketchup has sugars in it and increase the carb count and I prefer mustard on a burger anyway. Is that crazy? 5 whole carbs and if I subtract the 1 gram of fiber my net carb is 4!

Nutrition Info - McDonalds.com
McDonald's website has a "make your meal" tool where you can take off or add items and it will give you the same info I posted above. Very handy and makes it easier to customize foods if you plan on eating at McDonald's. 

So you can eat out on a LCHF way of eating, you just have to plan and become familiar with nutrition info on various foods. Myfitnesspal.com is a great resource for that and I love it!


 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Low Carb Bread or Muffin in a Cup

I have a new favorite low-carb website. The reason I love Lynn's website Traveling Low Carb, is that she's like me, she's not a big lover of cooking and loves to keep things simple. So I've been getting lots of great ideas on how to keep this WOE simple.

One of the most basic breakfast items you can eat with a LCHF diet is eggs. I've tried them as an omelet, fried, scrambled with veggies, scrambled with bacon, all kinds of ways and while they are delicious I have to admit I'm a little tired of them.

The other day I saw on Lynn's blog a post about low carb bread sold by Great Low Carb Bread Company. Each slice of their plain bread has 1 net carb! One slice of the Rainbow Brand White Bread I normally buy has 27 net carbs. I try to stick with 20 carbs per day, but no more than 24. I would go through my carbs for the day with just one slice of plain bread!

This sounded like a great alternative, but I held off buying it because the price is $7.99 per loaf plus $5.99 shipping for a total cost per loaf of bread of $13.98! The shipping is a flat cost so I figured I would wait for the weekend and shop the Netrition.com website to see what other low carb items I could order. 

I felt it this bread would be a great alternative to eggs in the morning. I could toast a slice and slather it with avocado, easy and I would get the healthy fats I need for my WOE.

This morning I remembered that I used to make a muffin in a cup with flax seed and looked up the recipe and made it so I would have something "bready" to accompany my coffee.


Easy Peasy and only 1.8 carbs per half a muffin! Each muffin has 3.6 carbs per muffin using the ingredients I will list below, but I cut it in half and ate two slices with my coffee, adding a pat of butter and 1 teaspoon of Smuckers Sugar Free Strawberry Preserves per round which would be roughly 3.6 carbs. 

It was just as satisfying to me as an Entenmanns Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish which has 58 carbs per serving! I didn't even think about it, but I probably could have used cream cheese mixed with the preserves as a topping! Will have to try that next weekend. 


Later in the morning for my actual breakfast I took the last two rounds of this bread and topped it with some homemade guacamole made with tomato and jalapeno and garlic salt. 

Not the prettiest of pictures, but trust me, this was delicious! Much better than my usual eggs breakfast! 1.8 carbs for the muffin and I estimate 1.6 for the guac for a total of 3.4 for my breakfast!

I'm thinking that I'm going to make a muffin in a cup instead of buying the $14 bread! Plus flax seeds are high in fiber and rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids which are "good" fats that have been known to have heart-healthy effects. 

Here's the recipe for the Muffin in a Cup:


Mix ingredients well in a microwaveable coffee mug and cook for 50 to 60 minutes in the microwave. Slips right out of the mug, simply enjoy! You could also add some diced walnuts or slivered almonds.



 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Battle is with my Head and not my Stomach!

I'm just finishing up week 3 of the LCHF WOE (low carb, high fat, way of eating) and I feel terrific. My knees don't hurt as much, I can get up out of my chair without making those noises that my dad used to make and I have tons of energy and I'm in a better mood! Hard to believe that simply changing my diet can help that much...well that and exercising regularly. The two go hand in hand!

I was commenting on a post on Facebook to a question posed by Lynn of Low Carb Traveler (an excellent low carb blogger) in which she asks, "How often do you eat off plan? Meaning: NOT low carb? And do you do it intentionally, or is it usually just a "slip up"? 

My answer was, "I think for me it's hard when I go off the program, even just once. But a couple of weeks ago I had planned to go on a road trip with friends as a celebration for my birthday, so I did allow myself that day to have two margaritas and chips and salsa at dinner at a Mexican restaurant, but that was it and it was a calculated "cheat". I am resolved to making this a way of life and not straying from the plan. It's not always easy but I feel so much better. I may not always be satisfied with what I eat, but I'm never hungry. It's more a battle with my mind than with my stomach."

Here we are having a bracing Margarita to give us courage to get on the Glass Bottom boat, this was strictly for medicinal purposes! From L to R - Lupe, Lisa and me.
That comment made me stop and think. It's not that I eat because I'm hungry, I eat because I have cravings for certain foods and those foods aren't low-carb.

Jalapeno Infused Cucumber Margaritas, Chips and Salsa after the boat trip! 
Ok, see that picture right up there? See that basket of tortilla chips? That...that right there is my downfall, my kryptonite! I adore tortilla chips with salsa and there is no low carb alternative. You can find great recipes for low carb pancakes, brownies, fudge, cookies, cakes, cheesecake, almost anything imaginable that would satisfy a sweet tooth, but my problem is I have a Salty Tooth!

There is nothing as satisfying to me as chips and salsa. Well maybe Cheetos, but that's an addiction!

So even though I am never hungry with this WOE I am never completely satisfied! There is always something missing. I imagine it's like an alcoholic or a drug addict, you can go on with life but something is always missing and as soon as you have that first taste of it all reasoning goes out the window!

Last night Lisa came over and she made guacamole, which is only good with tortilla chips. I peeled and sliced a cucumber and ate my guacamole with slices of cucumber. Very filling, but not as satisfying as the chips. That is just something that I will have to get used to and maybe, in time, I will lose the craving...but I don't think so. I just can't let my stomach and cravings win over the knowledge in my head that I am doing the right thing for me by eating LCHF!


 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Time to Get Off My Butt! Won't You Join Me?

So I've mentioned before how I follow a low carb/high fat lifestyle aka LCHF. It's a very simple way of eating aka WOE but it does take determination, will power and the ability to plan ahead and be organized with your WOE.

In case you don't know what LCHF is, you can visit The Diet Doctor link HERE, or you can to go Atkins.com for more info. I could explain it in this post but it would go on forever and I would never be able to explain it as well as those two websites do.

I've done this WOE for several years and have had a lot of success with it. I feel wonderful when I'm LCHF! I have energy, sleep well, my digestive system works great, those aches and pains from inflammation and arthritis ease up and on the plus side I lose weight. No bloating or gassiness, no heartburn or acid re-flux!

So knowing this...why do I go back to bad habits? Why do I go back to eating sugar, wheat, flour and processed foods? I don't honestly have an answer. I think about it often and wonder why I sabotage myself when I know that on LCHF I feel awesome! I guess it's because I'm human and weak and give in to temptation and because Cheetos are SO DAMN GOOD! 

A couple of weeks ago I was finally sick of myself. I had lost 22 pounds a year or so ago and have put them all back on plus some, so I realized I had to make a change and quit thinking, "I'll start tomorrow."

So I did, for the past two weeks I have stuck religiously to LCHF and I lost 5 pounds. Now in the past when I've done LCHF I would lose 10 to 15 pounds in the first two weeks, but as you get older your metabolism changes, your body changes and nothing is as easy as it was when you were younger...am I right?

Anyway, it's been two weeks and I'm 5 pounds lighter and I know that I have to stick to this way of eating for my health, for my family and for my own self worth. So I'll be back to posting low carb food and things having to do with my WOE, hoping it may help someone and that it will help me to be accountable to myself.

I've also been trying to exercise. It's hard to go from being a couch potato whose biggest form of exercise is walking from her house to the car to the office back to the car and back home. Yeah, that's probably a whole 2 minutes of exercise per day!

So I have started slowly by using the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home Videos. I started by doing her Energy Boost 5 Minute Walk. Trust me, in the beginning I couldn't even do 2 minutes and now I'm doing 5 easily and probably should move to a different video. But because of my back and Sciatica issues I tend to be very careful so I don't end up hurting myself. 

I do the 5 minute video below when I wake up, on my 10am break at work, at lunch time, on my 3pm break and around 7pm. So all total I'm doing 25 minutes of exercise per day. If I knew that right now I had to stand up and do 25 minutes of exercise I would just make excuses, but who doesn't have 5 minutes, 5 times per day? Or even 10 minutes...it doesn't matter how much, the point is to start and get your body moving. 

This is the energy boosting video and it really does give you a boost of energy, I can feel it working already in how alert and active I am when I get home from work. Instead of just sitting and being a couch potato I'm being more active and cooking, exercising, watering my poor plants and cleaning my house!



Tonight I had time to try to find another 5 minute video and I found the next one I'm going to post. This one seemed a bit more fast paced and I'm going to mix it up and keep doing these for another week and then perhaps move up to ones that are a little longer in length.

This one seemed to give me a better workout, so it may be one I want to try early in the morning when I'm rested and have more energy because even though it's similar to the one above I believe she moves faster because I got a little winded!




I also want to share this next one even though I haven't actually done it because it's one to work the legs and with my Sciatica it couldn't hurt to strengthen my legs, so I will give this one a try tomorrow.



Can't wait to wake up tomorrow and try each of these videos. See what I mean? Moving gives you energy...so move!

   

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tales of the Bathroom...It's Been Awhile!

I'm always amazed at the things that I find in the women's bathroom in our office building. We have two - four stall bathrooms, one each for the men and one for the women. One is on the 2nd floor and one on the floor where my office is.

I've shared posts with you before about the things that I have found in the bathroom that just have me shaking my head and wondering why grown-ass adults would be such slobs! Especially grown-ass adult women!

In May of 2011 I posted about finding a peanut husk. Someone apparently finds it easier to move their bowels while munching on peanuts! You can read about and see pictures here.

Then a few months later in September of 2011 I posted another "what the heck" moment. In a stall on top of the sanitary pads stainless steel disposal box I found a plastic fork. One can only assume someone was eating a salad while making a quick "pit stop" and forgot their fork when they left...right? You can read about and see pictures of that one here

Things kind of slowed down then and I thought that maybe that person that liked to snack while sitting on the potty was gone, but then again on May 13 of 2014 I found a piece of wadded up foil just sitting on the floor next to the commode. I had a fun time trying to think up what was in the foil. Stories and pictures here

And then there was peace in the land and everyone cleaned up after themselves until today. Today was the mother of all messes! The ultimate "what the heck"!

Check this out! A sink full of something black. What it is I don't know. 


I thought about smelling it, but it grossed me out and I couldn't bring myself to do so. Plus it wasn't contained just to the sink...oh no, of course not, check out the floor.


And this was just under the sink, the whole floor and all 4 stalls had this black residue all over the place. It just makes you wonder? What is it? Was there someone this morning that decided to re-pot an office plant in the women's bathroom and then had a seizure while holding the pot and thrashed about all over the place, in and out of all the stalls scattering dirt everywhere?

If so, where is the plant? Why were there no leaves? And why would this person think that there was no need for her to clean this up? I can only assume it was a woman as it was the women's bathroom.

Just leaves me scratching my head...




 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why you should go see Magic Mike XXL

Photo Credit - Intouch Weekly 
Went to see Magic Mike last night with a group of girlfriends to celebrate the birthday of one of their daughters who turned 24. O.M.G.!!! 

I had never seen the first one, never even had a remote interest in it, but O.M.G.!!! I can see why women are gaga for this movie. 

The story line was ridiculous, they start out on their trip to the Strippers Convention at Myrtle Beach in what is basically a glorified taco truck turned into a FroYo Mobile. (FroYo for those not in the know is frozen yogurt.) 

They end up getting to the Strippers Convention in a Rolls Royce convertible…c’mon!!! Seriously? 

The people they meet along the way are gorgeous, rich and successful and more than willing to help out a band of good looking, hunky male strippers, while getting absolutely nothing in return. 



Wait, I take that back…one of the characters played by one of my favorite actresses, Andie MacDowell, gets to spend a passionate night with one of the strippers after exclaiming that she wished that she had known them back in her day and he tells her with a smoldering look, “I’d say it’s still your day, ma’am!” We women in the audience just swooned and you could hear from the sighs that we were all imagining him saying that to us!



Channing Tatum is so physically fit. I don't know if he really performs all those dance moves but as Andie MacDowells character says in the movie "Dayyum!".


So why do I think you should go see this movie? Cause it's fun! The music was fun, the dancing is phenomenal and it's great to go with a group of girl friends and just have fun and hoot and holler and growl! 

And we all need a little more DAYYUM in our lives!

       

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

One Thousand White Women and Snowy Egrets

This is a rather random post but I’m reading a book entitled One Thousand White Women - The Journals of May Dodd by the author Jim Fergus. 

I’m really enjoying this book and came across a passage today that I want to share, but before I do let me give you a little background on the book. 

The story is about May Dodd and her adventures in traveling across the country from New York to the American West in the year 1875 as part of a government program to send unmarried, fertile woman to marry and mate with Cheyenne warriors in hopes of assimilating future generations of the Cheyenne people with the white man’s world. 

The U.S. government has agreed to send the Cheyenne Nation 1,000 white women in exchange for 1,000 horses, 500 hundred wild horses and 500 that are already broken. The book has not and probably won’t explain the condition and value of the horses that the Cheyenne will be sending to the U.S. government but it does explain where these women will come from. 

A few will be women that volunteer, that are of a certain age and able to bear children. The rest of them will come from prisons and insane asylums where in exchange for traveling across country and marrying heathens, they will be given their freedom. 

Now I’m not big in politics, don’t throw my political opinion around as easily and frequently as do most people, especially on Facebook, but I will say that it doesn’t seem as though our government has changed much from 1875! 

In the part of the book that I want to share, the women have already arrive at Fort Laramie and are being detained there, basically as prisoners until they are shipped off to their new spouses. The ladies are gathered at the table for dinner and are discussing the latest New York fashion in hats. 

There is one lady named Helen Flight who is the author of a book entitled Birds of Britain and is working on a new book entitled Birds of America. Ms. Flight finds herself short of funds to continue her research on the Birds of America and thinks it a grand idea to head off to marry a Cheyenne warrior for the opportunity to study the bird life of the western prairies at no expense to her! That makes perfect sense right? 

One of the ladies is wearing a new hat with feathers and they are all commenting on the hat and Ms. Flights says, “I say, Miss Bradley, were you aware that the feathers on your hat are the breeding plumes of the snowy egret?” 

“Why no I wasn’t”, answers Miss Bradley. “Isn’t that fascinating?” 

Snowy Egret - Full Breeding Plumage - Photo Credit
“Quite” says Ms. Flight, “rather a nasty business, actually, which I had occasion to witness last spring while I was in the Florida swamps studying the wading birds of the Everglades for my Birds of America portfolio. As you correctly stated, the feather-festooned hat such as the one you wear is very much the vogue in New York fashion these days. The hat makers there have commissioned the Seminole Indians who inhabit the Everglades to supply them with feathers for the trade. The Indians have devised an ingenious method of netting the birds while they are on their nests—which the birds are reluctant to leave due to their instinct to protect their young. Of course, the Indians must kill the adult birds in order to pluck the few ‘aigrettes’ or nuptial plumes as they are more commonly known. Entire rookeries are thus destroyed, the young orphaned birds left to starve in the nest. Pity… a terribly disagreeable sound that of a rookery full of nestlings crying for their parents, you can hear it across the swamp for miles…”

This made me tear up. Imagining those poor birds defending their young and being killed, simply for feathers! According to Wikipedia, the Snowy Egret is now a protected species thanks to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The book also talks about the train stopping along the way on the prairie for the men on board to "hunt" the buffalo on the prairie by shooting them where they stand out of the train windows. There is no "hunting" involved, just cruelty and cowardliness at shooting defenseless animals for sport. The animals left where they fall, some dead some mortally wounded, some with newborn spring calf's, left to rot.

It just makes me sad and angers me to think of how cruel human beings can be. I'm not opposed to killing animals to supply us with food, as long as it is done humanely, but to kill them for sport or for fun or for fashion! No! Just no...


 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

And the Arizona Trip Memories continue...

It was really great to be able to spend so much time in Arizona on our recent trip. Usually we head there on a Friday and come back on a Sunday. This time my sister Lisa and I took time off on Thursday, Friday and Monday. So we left on Thursday and came back on Monday which gave us Friday, Saturday and Sunday for family fun!

Here's the route we took. This estimates that it would take 9 hours and 53 minutes, but because we don't want to tire our mom out too much we stop often for her to walk around and stretch her legs. We stop often for snacks and we have a traditional stop in Needles for Dairy Queen Ice Cream!



I know this is not the fastest route, but this is the route my mom would take with my dad when they would visit Arizona and so it's the route she's familiar with and she relives memories of travelling this way with my dad...so it may take a little more time, but it's worth it to make mom happy. 

We always make a stop in Parker, Arizona to visit my cousin Mary Lou and this trip was no different. We stopped and stretched our legs. Mary Lou had made us a delicious meal and her famous homemade rolls. She's a fabulous cook and we loved spending time with her. 

We finally arrived in Eloy at around 8 pm. We had left Bakersfield around 6am even though mom wanted to leave at 4am...she was chomping at the bit to get to Arizona! It was a very long day. We grabbed a bite to eat with Tia Ninfa at Dennys and then our cousins Stella and Norrie came by Tia Ninfa's house and we drank a margarita together to unwind and then we called it a day.

The next morning mom was very anxious to go visit her sister Maria in the nursing home where she lives. We had coffee and some sweet bread and headed to Casa Grande. I can't even describe the joy in my heart to see my mom reunited with her sister. There just are no words and since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, well we will let the pictures speak.











Side by Side
or Miles Apart
We are Sisters
Connected by the Heart



 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Visiting Arizona - It's all about the family

In my last post I spoke about "mi tierra", the land where I grew up, where my heart is and also where the majority of my maternal side of the family lives. Family is the main reason we visited Arizona in May.

My mom still has a brother and a sister that live in Arizona. My moms father, mother, brother and five of her sisters are buried in Arizona cemeteries so mom of course has been wanting to go to Arizona and visit her sister Maria who lives in a nursing home and to visit her brother Tino who lives with his daughter and of course to visit relatives at the cemetery.

We went during Mothers Day weekend. The first thing we did was visit our Tia Ninfa who we stayed with. Tia Ninfa is the widow of my moms oldest brother Jesus or as we all called him Uncle Jesse. Tia Ninfa is like a real sister to my mom and she loves her dearly. We all love Tia Ninfa, she never had children of her owned so spoiled all of us her nieces and nephews endlessly. She's a wonderful, kind hearted, spirited fun lady who always has a smile on her face and only kind words about everyone she knows and a kind word for everyone she meets.

Mom with her sister in law Ninfa (Ninfa in red)
Tia Ninfa just had her home remodeled and when I say remodeled I mean they moved her and everything she owns out of the house she and my Uncle Jesse had lived in their whole married life, leveled it down to the ground and then rebuilt it. 

Here's a picture of what the house originally looked like. I have many wonderful memories in this house. I visited it often and spent the night many times with my Tio and Tia. They treated me like a princess!


Tio Jesse was sick for many years before he passed away and the house was beginning to have many problems with the plumbing and a leaking roof. One day Tia Ninfa received notification of a program in Arizona to rebuild homes for those that qualify. She called my cousin Norrie who is a realtor in Arizona as it sounded too good to be true. Norrie checked it all out and it was legit and Tia signed up and then forgot all about it.

Tia Ninfa tells us that one night after an especially heavy rainstorm the roof was leaking badly and she spent most of the night awake running around dumping out buckets of water that kept refilling from the leaks.

She said that in the morning, exhausted she sat down on her couch and started to cry and she talked to Tio Jesse. She told him, "Well Jesse, when you married me you said that you would always provide a roof over my head and you did for many years and now you're gone and the roof is falling in on my head and I don't know what to do, I need your help Jesse."

A few days later she received a phone call in response to her application to have her home rebuilt. She had qualified and they were ready to begin the process. It took a while as Tia Ninfa had stored years and years of treasures on the property but finally they began and here is her new home now. A home that she truly deserves for being the wonderful wife she was to our Uncle, for loving all of us and for just being the kindest person I know.


I had not noticed until right now that they kept the same color of her old house, a pinkish color. isn't it beautiful? The inside of the home is gorgeous. They would only rebuild it to the specifications it originally was so it's a two bedroom, one bath, but the kitchen is beautiful and modern and she's so happy with it! Thank you cousin Norrie for all you do for our beautiful Tia Ninfa!

I want all my friends and family members in California that whine about not being able to water their lawns because of the drought we are in, to notice that here is no grass on this lawn, that is all rock. Arizona learned how to live without being wasteful with water and California...we can learn too! Let's be water wise Californians!

Tia Ninfa was a great hostess and we had a wonderful time with her. She has not changed a bit, her heart is still as big as the state of Arizona.

Here's my sister Lisa with our mom and Tia Ninfa at the Picacho Peak State Park with Picacho Peak in the background.


And here's yours truly with Tia Ninfa and my mom and Picacho Peak in the background. We had just visited the gift shop where we bought souvenirs for all our loved ones back in California. Every time I go I buy a hot pink shirt with an Arizona decal. I don't know why but they always have a hot pink shirt waiting for me! It's like they know I'm coming back to "mi tierra". Love you Arizona!