Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Picture in My Mind

I've always been a lover of books and reading. I have no greater joy than spending time with a book and a bag of sunflower seeds. I always hoped that my kids would have a love of books, so much so that I was constantly buying them books when they were children.

My daughter April loved to read. She would read books over and over again and she would draw pictures from them and create pictures of her own using the books for inspiration.

My son Jim likes to read. You notice I didn't say loves right? I'm pretty sure he just likes reading. If it's a book he's interested in he might scan it, read some of the good parts and then he's done. He's not one to just read for the sheer joy of it.

When he was a little boy, I would buy tons of books for him also in hopes that he, like his sister would love them, read them and let them inspire him to be creative. Well, in a way they did, but not in the same way they inspired his sister.

I will always have a picture in my mind of my son and his special use for books. He used them as building blocks and roads and skyscrapers and houses. I will always have a picture in my head of sitting in my chair reading or watching TV and seeing that little guy go to his room and get his mountains of books and setting them up all over the living room floor and using them with his little Matchbox cars and his Teenage Ninja Turtles and his Power Rangers. I never saw him read them, but he did put them to good use!

He had such good imagination that he could sit there for hours playing. A child's imagination is something miraculous!

I remember sitting there and trying to imprint that image in my head because I knew that one day he would be an adult and that image was what I wanted to cherish about that little boy...and I did. I can see it clearly in my head, just as if it was occurring right this minute.

This post was inspired by "The Costume Trunk." I received a complimentary copy  as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. All opinions expressed are my own. You can read other posts inspired by "The Costume Trunk" at From Left to Write on book club day Thursday July 28th.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It is Better to be Alone than in Bad Company

A long time ago, when I was struggling with my marriage because of an abusive husband, my paternal grandfather, whom we lovingly called Tata, pulled me aside and told me, "Mija, hagase valer. Mejor sola que mal acompanada." Translated it means, "My daughter, value yourself, better to be alone than in bad company." That made such a profound impact on me that I've remembered it to this day and have given that advice many times to various friends and truly believe in it.

Last week I told you all about my wonderful birthday gifts and greetings from my dear friends and family members. I also promised photos from a trip I was taking to Las Vegas. Well I have a few photos, but very few. This is not a happy post but perhaps it will help someone who is in a situation where they are not valuing themselves and they are thinking better to be in bad company than to be alone.

I mentioned a romantic weekend getaway with a new gentleman friend. Well he turned out not to be quite the gentleman I thought he was. Let me say upfront, I'm ok, I'm fine, he didn't hurt me, nothing like least not physically. I am not going to get into detail about word for word the awful things he said and how he made me feel, but I will say that he has a problem. A big problem. A problem that I had seen little, tiny glimpses of that made me suspect something was not right, but nothing I could really put my finger on.

The problem? Alcohol. The first full day we were in Vegas he started drinking beer from the second he woke up until he passed out around midnight. Some people drink and are happy drunks, this man was not one of those. The drunker he got, the meaner he got. Needless to say Saturday was a horrible, miserable day for me. I spent the majority of the time alone and crying and wishing I could go home. I honestly debated with myself whether I should just pack up my stuff and call a cab to take me to the bus station. I stuck it out and we came back home Sunday, one day earlier than he had promised.

Sunday on the drive home he acted like nothing was wrong. He was his old self:, cheerful, funny, talkative. I started to wonder if I had dreamed the whole thing...the ache in my heart told me it wasn't a dream. Once we got to his house where I had left my car I quickly told him that we were done and left.

I'm not sure why this all happened, but I guess it's better that I realized it sooner rather than later right? I'm sad of what "could have been", but happy that I found out in time that this was not the type of man I want in my life. If anyone out there is in a relationship that is bad but staying in it in the hopes that it will get better, or that he/she will change, they won't. Value yourself and realize that it truly is better to be alone than in bad company. My wounds from this weekend will heal and eventually someone who deserves me will come into my life and he will receive someone that values and respects herself and will value and respect him as well.

I debated posting about this because I like to use my blog to post happy things than make others happy. But in the end I felt that maybe it would be best to put it all out there in the hopes that someone that might be going through a bad relationship might be helped by this and by the wisdom of my dear Tata, Manuel, may he rest in peace. I love you Tata.

I did manage to get a few photos on my cell phone the first evening we got there, so I'll share those with you and trust me...I am going to back to Vegas again and I'm going to have so much fun it will make up for the horror of this trip!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another year older...and deeper in debt!

I may be aging myself here by making the title of my post today a reference to an old, old, old, way old song, but since this post is about my birthday I suppose it's fitting.

Wow, I had to go and google that song just to make sure it was as old and I said; and it is. The song about a coal miner was first released in 1946 by Merle Travis. The version I remember was recorded in 1955 by Tennessee Ernie Ford! Hey, wait, I'm way tooooooooo young to even know who these singers were! I think it's just that I'm very musically educated, cause I know it's not because I'm old!

Anyway, I'm another year older...and really, aren't we all deeper in debt? As long as we're all in the same boat together it's not so bad.

Yesterday was my big, bad, 53rd birthday, and I have to tell ya, it was a great day! One of the best birthday's I've ever celebrated. Lots of birthday greetings and phone calls. Even before I left to go to work; huh? what? Well of course I went to work on my birthday, why wouldn't I? Actually I'm taking Monday off to compensate, but more about that later.

Back to what I was saying, even before I left to go to work I received a call from my brother Fred who had his birthday the day before mine so he never has any excuse to forget mine :-)   Then I received a call from my dear, sweet, precious Aunt Ninfa who never forgets to give me a call, she's so wonderful and thoughtful! Oh and I must give a shout-out to my equally wonderful, thoughtful, special cousin Stella who sent me the most awesome present ever. I'll share that with you guys next week when I have time to photograph it. Thanks Stella!

Then I got to work and my co-worker Angelica had made for me a low-carb cheesecake, just take a gander at this deliciousness! I know the photo is not the best, it's from my cell phone camera, but look at all those luscious strawberries! Yum! Thanks Angelica!

My co-workers also got me flowers and they all signed a card and sang to me while I sat there with a sappy smile :-)            You thought I was kidding huh? Nope, proof below of that sappy smile! Oh and we got Starbucks too! I was a happy camper!

I also received a million and one birthday greetings on facebook...and even though everyone gets them, they still make you feel really special and loved!

After work my family took me to dinner at Chili's and that was fun and tasty. They of course had to tell the waiter it was my birthday so they could come over and embarrass me by singing to me one of those silly little birthday songs....but we did get a free brownie with vanilla ice cream on it (which didn't do me any good because I can't eat it due to the carbs, although between you and me, I did take a small spoonful *shhhh*).

This weekend I'm heading off to Vegas for a romantic get-a-way weekend with a new gentleman friend *giggle*. I swear I'm all giggly and silly, but I'm having the time of my life and this birthday definitely was one of the best so far! Photos from Vegas to follow next week! Tune in!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Be the Mule, Not the Ass!

My sister sent me the cutest email today. There's a funny story in it and cute pictures, but if you really pay attention to the moral of the story you will learn so much. Hope you enjoy it.

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a
well. The animal cried piteously for hours as
the farmer tried to figure out what to do. 

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the
well needed to be covered up anyway;
it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and
help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began
to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the
donkey realized what was happening and cried
horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he
quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally
looked down the well. He was astonished at what
he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his
back, the donkey was doing something amazing.
He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel
dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it
off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey
stepped up over the edge of the well and
happily trotted off! 

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds
of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well
is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of
our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out
of the deepest wells just by not stopping,
never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up. 

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

Live simply and appreciate what you have.

Give more.

Expect less 

NOW .......

The donkey later came back,
and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him.
The gash from the bite got infected and
the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock


When you do something wrong, and try to cover
your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Fun

So I notice everyone in Blogland is a little scarce this summer. Is it the heat keeping us away or all the fun we're having? Maybe a little of both? I know I've had air-conditioning woes at my house, but as of Friday the A/C man came and it's working great now...I was even a little bit chilly last night!

And I'm definitely having a wonderful summer. It seems like every weekend something has been happening. First there was Father's Day and a really nice BBQ at my brothers house where I got to spend time with some of my favorite people and pets!

Me, Melissa and Chorizo

Then came another BBQ at my brothers house for his son Fred Jr. We combined that BBQ with the 4th of July (actually it happened on the 3rd of July because in my small town we have our fireworks display On the 3rd). And again I got to see some special people...little people!

My niece Melissa and her cousin Maximiliano aka Max aka Maxie! And a little white kitten!

Then this weekend we had one of our favorite cousins from Arizona visit, Lydia, her daughter Daniella and her Daniella's husband and little boy and Lydia's son Mark and his cousin Alex (I think they were cousins, someone correct me if I'm wrong). We had two family get togethers, one on Saturday hosted by my cousin Steve and one on Sunday hosted by my sister and her husband at their home. We had lots of fun, lots of laughs, shared tons of memories and ate way too much! I've got photos to share but haven't downloaded them off of my camera yet, so stay tuned.

In the next few weeks we have birthdays for several members of the family....yours truly included. I'm having a fabulous get-a-way birthday to "Sin City" (Las Vegas) and I'm so excited about that. Then my niece is celebrating her 21st birthday.

So yes...I've been a little scarce in Blogland but it's only because I'm doing research and loving life so that I have even more to share with everyone. Oh...and I've lost 23 lbs now! Yay!

So what have you all been up to?