Sunday, December 26, 2010
Growing up in a strict Latino home who also happened to be 7th Day Adventist didn't leave a lot of going to parties and football games. It did leave me in my room listening to the radio. While the music played behind closed doors, I danced, I let the music take me away and Teena Marie's "Square Biz" was one of them (including Gap Band, Lakeside and other R&B groups).
The other fact on Teena Marie that we took pride in was that she was an alumni of Venice High School. We walked the halls that she walked. Did she sing in the bathrooms? Did she also have some of these same teachers? Did she kick it on the front lawn like we did?
Thank you Teena Marie for blessing the Universe with your music, your voice. You will not be forgotten.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
1. Financial: I need to wait all the bills are paid and see what I have to spend. That's part of it.
2. No clue for gifts: I asked spouses for ideas and they didn't know. I asked siblings for ideas, "tampoco."
3. I would like the gift to have some sort of special meaning to myself and to them. Wow! What pressure I put on myself. I know! I really don't like giving gift cards because it is so easy but I should learn to embrace easy and go with the flow.
But beyond this gift giving...I realize what they bring into my life. Blessings. Blessings of family, Blessings of friendship. An acknowledgement that I am not alone in this world.
The holiday season began with a get together at the De La Garza home. Tamales and desserts. What more could you want? I saw friends I had not seen in a long time and it was great catching up on each other's lives. Next up....Sushi night!
I gave four massages this week. Nothing wrong with some extra money. Maria Felix eyebrows, here I come!
Maite had play dates twice this week with Oscar and Cayla. Her social calendar is so much busier than mine.
Today was a special day for so many reasons. It began with my neice Luna coming over today and she was in a huggable mood and gave everyone kisses before leaving for Atlanta with her father.
My friend Mary, whom I lovingly call "la pinche chota" brought me tamales dulces and some pan dulce for the kids. I haven't decided if I will tell Chuy that the tamales are in the refrigerator.
We spent the evening catching up with my compadre Tino and his family. The girls made bunuelos and cookies with Nicki-bird and Andivi. Through Tino, I have become friends with La Ashley and Rocky and today I met Nathan. Mucho gusto Nathan. I got to see the Baca family and spend some quality time with Raquel and Ralph. This day was so much more special because they always make bunuelos on the 23rd of December. It is my comadre Ludim's birthday (which I facebooked that she is in the heavens serving cake to angels and welcoming new souls into the "cielo").
This is the true spirit of Christmas. The lasting friendships that touch your life. But I want to make sure that all these people know how much I LOVE them and am BLESSED by them. With this said, I need to get my Happy New Year cards out and the gifts that are a token of my love for them. So when I hit the mall tomorrow, it's this feeling I will keep in my heart as I play tug of war with a stranger for the sweater on sale!
Feliz Navidad to anyone reading this. Actually Feliz Navidad to the Universe! Peace & Blessings for everyone in 2011. Namaste!
Friday, December 17, 2010
These were the typical responses:
1. They would stop and have a quick conversation with the girls, take the flyer and return to the table with some cans or other supplies. Que bonito.
2. They would respectfully respond with "No thank you. I can't today." Again, que bonito that they were polite.
3. They would keep walking never acknowledging that a young girl was speaking to them. Seriously?! It was a good thing that I was not in "La Gata" mode. Dang, wanted to pull out the power of the chancla and beat some sense into some people. The funniest one was of a person looking at the kids like they were aliens, then turned to look at his companion looking for some guidance of "what do I do?" while she continued to walk never acknowledging anyone was talking to them. Again! Que la chintola!
I stood there and watched these young girls not get defeated by group 3 folks and continue on with their mission. I know it is the holidays and every non-profit you can think of is parked in front of the market, mall and other public place. I am not telling you to give to everyone but be a "human" and respond with a "no thank you" or "yes, here you go." Manners go a long way.
Remember, Peace on Earth. Keep it positive and spread the good energy.
As some of you may know, I am in school (IBSP) studying to become a massage therapist. I am in the middle of taking a human energy class which deals with the energy that travels through our body. You know you have it people, because how many times have you given yourself a "toque" (and I don't mean the mind enhancing toque, sin verguenzas) walking across that carpet?
Well this class did an instruction of how our energy/power is taken away from us when we talk bad about ourselves. When we self-criticize we take our strength away. I am guilty of it. I tend to knock myself down with humor (i.e. girl, you know my big butt can't fit in skinny jeans). Our instructor Tracy showed us what happens. We stood up with one arm out to the side. Our goal was to not let the other person push your arm down. The second step dealt with a self-criticism. My sentence: I didn't see myself worthy to put myself on my own priority list. Needless to say, everyone's needs (husband, kids, family) came first. This is why I am still trying to go see Diane so she can wax my brows back to a "Maria Felix shape" and get rid of the "Cantinflas bigotes."
What happened when I repeated this sentence as my fellow classmate pushed down on my arm? She pushed it down. Que triste. The third step was to come up with a mantra to repeat to myself for one week. It is "I will put myself as priority so I can be the best that I can be." How is it working? Not bad. I still haven't made the appointment with Diane but it's financial not time-wise. I feel better and I do make some time for myself everyday (drink coffee work on sudoku, sit on the couch and watch the kids play instead of cleaning)
There have been some obstacles this week and I look at it as a shift, a transformation into something better. It's like the juicy catepillar from "Bugs". I will become a beautiful butterfly. I continue to ask for Divine Guidance and must be open to listen and to the changes that it brings.
With this said, I truly do wish to blog more often and always on a positive tip (even when I am venting).
To the mothers reading this: You are number one on your priority list. You are beautiful and you are mama (one of the hardest jobs on this planet).
Monday, November 15, 2010
Well...this got me to thinking. What am I hiding that I wouldn't want Chuy, the girls or any other family member to see? I have some word documents on the computer of angry letters I have written to Chuy but he could read and see how articulate I can be in anger. Hmmm, no old love letters from the past(got rid of those long ago), credit card bills (he knows). My journals the girls could read once they were older. I am leaving those under the care of my sister Lucy. The only other thing I asked her to do was to go through my drawer and throw away the "granny" chones. You know everybody has some... I don't need Chuy thinking "Shallow Hal". You know the scene.
So what do you have in your drawers besides "drawers"? What secrets line the pages of your journals, what photographs do you have buried in boxes? Make a plan with one of your girls. They always have your back.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
It was either drink or write to free my emotions. I chose to write even though I have a bottle of pomegranite margarita in the refrigerator. Oh well...I need my girls to drink with (and by my girls, I mean amigas not daughters)
When I walked into ICU on Saturday and saw my abuelita in the bed, I wasn't sure if my biggest emotion was grief or shock. Who was this tiny mujer laying in bed with her eyes closed gasping for air? When did she age so much? Was she really that tiny? Was this wonderful mujer in pain? She opened her eyes and gave me a toothless smile. Another shock, I didn't know abuelita had false teeth!
I leaned over kissed her on her forehead and asked her "Como esta abuelita?" Her reply: "acostada". She still had her sense of humor. Ayy caray.
I decided to spend the night on Saturday so my aunts and uncles could get some rest. My mother was preparing for her arrival because everyone agreed to bring her home to her room and make the time she had left comfortable.
As I sat there watching her sleep all I could think was how most of her life (she married at the age of 15) she was dedicated to being a wife and mother. I wondered what she was like at 15? Was she scared that she had to grow up so quickly? With each child that was born, did she gain a better knowledge and experience into raising children? She had 15 children. I have three and I am still trying to figure it out. How did she survive the loss of her children (5) because you can't ever forget.
When she was brought home she had the biggest smile you can imagine. She then told me and my cousin that it would be the last time we take her out of her home. We promised. This abuelita who always welcomed people into her home, her table was always filled with food and loved her children unconditionally was going away. The pain in my heart made it hard to breathe. How must my tias y tios feel?
Mi abuelita had a red wide brim hat she would wear as she walked around the patio in the back of the house. My dad would compliment her and tell her to watch out because a young man would steal her from us. She would blush and smile. She would see my dad eating something sweet and would stare at him until he offered "dona Mari, quiere un pedaso?" to which she would respond "pues si tu quieres." Ahh, the power of the jedi mind.
Chuy (my husband) once told her that he was about to call the police because he thought there was a car in the back "quemando llanta" (burrning rubber) to which she laughed at.
I remember the way she would carry some dinero tucked into her bra and hand us a dollar for ice cream when we were kids. I remember when I had Maia and instead of asking me if I pumped the breast milk she asked "hija, y te ordenas?" (Do I milk myself) to which I responded, "Ay abuela, ni que fuera vaca." Esta senora who would sneak candies into her pocket and then wake up in the morning with pieces of candy in her hair not knowing how it got there. "Quisas alguien lo tiro."
Here is what she taught me: You love your children even though they aren't perfect. You love your family and you love life. Thank you Maria Villalobos.
She was born in December of 1917 in Illinois and died November 2, 2010 (Dia de los muertos).
She has 15 children, 42 grand children, 59 great grand children and 8 great, great grand children. As my tia Carmen said, "mira las trabesuras que hiso mama con papa." Alamillo power.
Always loved, never forgotten.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I love the smell of rain. You can smell the earth. It reminds me of my long, long ago visit to Zacatecas. It also reminds me of how my mom would come to pick us up from school and as we walked home (yes people, she didn't drive yet), we would jump in the puddles and run in the rain with her yelling "Se van enfermar!" The best part of the rain was the treat we had waiting for us. My mama would make hot chocolate (abuelita style) and a piece of pan dulce on the side. Pure heaven…
It is these memories that I want to carry on to my children. Yes, they too love jumping in puddles. They also love their chocolate y pan dulce. Maite likes the sprinkles, Maia likes the concha de chocolate, Gael likes the one with the calabaza filling and mama loves the "cochinitos" (referring to the bread and the kids – lol).
So on this rainy day mi gente, bust out your pot, warm the milk and drop the bar of chocolate (The abuelita comes in instant too).
Friday, September 17, 2010
I met Lauro at Cal State Northridge in a history class. How could I not notice the fact that there was another Latino in the class and he was hella good looking. Lauro was not only "guapo" but a genuinely, super nice guy. We became friends and for a while he, Lizette and I hung out and went to the CSUN parties together. I had a secret crush but never said anything because the crushes I had never worked out, they didn't crush back but that's another story.
I don't know why we didn't stay in touch after graduation. Why is that? How many times have we formed these great friendships in high school, college and/or work and once that chapter closes, not everyone moves on to the next journey. You get busy with life and so focused on the now, until you hear a song, smell a scent or see something that brings that person vividly into your mind. For the most part, it is always a fond memory because what good does it do anybody to hold onto the heartbreak, the anger. That energy doesn't suit you.
I will never have the chance to touch base again with Lauro in this lifetime. Maybe the next...I pray for God to give his family strength and I write this as a way of lighting a candle to Lauro. As I have said in other posts, let us praise all that is positive into this universe, let us hold high all that is special even if we temporarily forgot about it. I want to put Lauro's name into the heavens and let anyone who reads this know what a special person he was. Rest in peace...
As we sat in the restaurant, my 3 year old is climbing up and down my lap as I am trying to eat and my sister is trying to get her 3 year old to sit down and eat. I look across the table and my husband is sitting there calmly enjoying his meal. How do I channel his calm way of being? If going to a restaurant is a luxury, why did we bring the kids? Why is there always a beverage spilt on the table, why am I always eating my food cold...
I mention to my sister that next year to celebrate her birthday we invest in a babysitter and the adults can enjoy a meal and an actual conversation with complete sentences and if I should get food on my clothes it is because of my own doing. But who am I kidding? If the kids were not there, I would want them to be there. They do make life a little more interesting.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Well my people, I have thought about this for a while now. God bless my husband. He is no poet, he can't write me a song or paint me a picture. I still wait for him to set up a date night or make a candle light dinner. This man who got me with his calm nature (the six pack abs, long hair and nipple ring helped too) proposed in a helicopter flying over the coast at sunset. That was my piece of magic that I keep in the pocket of my heart. This is the man who stayed home for 2 weeks when each child was born to help bathe and change them. This is the man who does mechanics on my families cars, on my friends cars, plumbing and any other handy man task you throw his way without a complaint. This is the man who makes me french toast for Mother's Day and makes sure to close the bedroom door so I can sleep in late on weekends (8 a.m. counts for late in the mothers handbook. See Chapter 3, paragraph 4)
So.....I may not get that wonderful toast but I do get so much more. So lover, husband, friend...Happy Fathers Day! I love you "media naranja." You are the beacon that shines bright and steady in the heaviest of storms that leads me safely home.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, with the lack of support I told myself I would show them and not do anything for teacher appreciation week. Cabrones, why should I volunteer my time serving breakfast to people that didn't appreciate what we were trying to do? The truth is that there is a handful of teachers that are excellent in what they do and are grateful but I wasn't focusing on that...hence, I was Darth Vader. I focused on what is not going right.
For those who don't know...I am going to school to become a massage therapist and it includes a change within myself. The school, IBSP in Culver City is awesome! The instructors are awesome and I went through the first 150 hours with a great group of people. During this journey, we learn to let go of baggage we have been holding onto, let go of emotions buried deep within ourselves, we laughed, cried and breathed and learned how to give super, yummy, delicious massages. I reminded myself "You are not Darth Vader cabrona (this is the term of endearment I call myself when I am lecturing myself). Walk into the light Guadalupe, it's a much better place.
So, with this new attitude that I am constantly working on....PTA will be hosting a continental breakfast for the teachers in honor of their hard work and I will keep reminding myself to stay out of the "dark side" because it's cold and it's not easy to breathe through the helmet...
I wish I could give the advice to folks as to a hint when a friendship is over. Well a definite clue would be it they tell you to f**k off. That is truly a dead in the water friendship. Other times, you just leave it alone, give people space and examine the friendship. Ask yourself, does the good times out weigh the bad? Are there memories that bust your gut from laughter? Were they that shoulder you cried on, the one you told your secrets to, the one who held your hair back as you puked your guts out from too much bacardi and coke?
In my wise 44 years (damn, did I just confess that....hell yeah...I own it people), I have learned to value each friendship with wonderful lessons to be learned. I have friends that I don't talk to as often but when we do manage to get each other on the phone, it is non-stop laughter of life and love (hell yeah, Julia, Denise, Martha...I mean you). There are friends who I only see at our children's birthday parties, yet it takes us back to our college days (minus the hair holding and bacardi and coke). I even love my friends who I only talk to if I call them because again, life is busy. In essence, I am not ready to let go of these friendships so I cherish the beautiful memories and look forward to our next get togethers or 5 minute conversations on the phone.
So amigas and amigos....don't be too pissed off at what happened because I am sure the good list is far longer than the bad. But if the bad list is longer.... TONTOS...what were you thinking??
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Actually, I have a good reason. Ok, maybe not. Yes, I do. I have been in school studying bodywork since January. I am learning massage through the art of Tai Chi and I love it!
The hours are long twice a week but it's a place I go where folks know me as Maria and not mom. It's my thing. Trust me, Chuy is reaping the benefits. He is my number one to get on the massage table and practice. The anatomy is a lot of work because I must memorize the muscles, bones and their actions.
But...I do miss expressing my thoughts by tapping away at the keyboard. I have all these ideas floating around in my head but I need to share with my faithful 7. I am also learning to let go. I have resigned from some committees at school, I don't say yes to everything (Oprah would smile but say I need some more work) and realizing that some battles aren't worth having.
So I will continue to study anatomy, petrissage, fan and strip the muscles and fan the colon (that deals with tummy rubbing cochinos) but add in a blog more often than not.