Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

Well, the painters have just finished the exterior painting of the office building, and I now work in a green building. The green is a dark, green, army color-a toss between a very ripe green avocado, and that dark green baby poop that newborns produce in their diapers. I had to take Nicholas to work with me one afternoon, and the first thing that came out of his mouth, upon entering the building was: "Mommy! You work in a very ugly building!"

We got an update that the bathrooms "hope" to be done in 4 weeks, not the 6 weeks we were told. Because of the remodel, they have shut all water in the building. We don't even have water to wash our hands or give to our poor plants. There are the porta potties outside, and one does have a sink, but I haven't been brave enough to enter them. According to my boss lady, who went to check it out one morning, it was pretty gross inside, and there was pee all over the place. Lovely.

Since the remodel, I've been visiting various other bathrooms including the county building, the bathrooms at drug stores, my son's school bathroom, my mom's, McDonalds-any place that has a working toilet just to avoid the porta potty outside of the ugly green building. All I can say is thank God for liquid sanitizing soap--that is all we have to wash our hands. It just doesn't seem to be healthy working conditions, huh? Oh well--I'm glad I work a shorter day at least and I can put in some exercise looking for toilets.

I cannot tell you how much I love my new schedule at work. I used to be home at 6:30, 6:45 pm, and now I'm home at 4:30 pm. What a difference two hours can make! I can actually RELAX a little before I have to make dinner. We actually eat by 6pm instead of 7:30! Yippee! I also have more time to do my Avon stuff so I'm not up until midnight bagging orders or labeling brochures. (BTW watch for Avon's ad during the Superbowl!) Tonight I'm going to help my friend, Angela deliver a dinner to a single mom who just had surgery. Saturday I have grocery shopping to do. Sunday is Super Bowl (I think I will hit the mall-I'm not a real fan of football.) we are also taking my cousin out to lunch before she leaves for the Azores again. Sigh--we are going to miss our little Tania! Her parents and the relatives on the island miss her so much-I can only imagine. I'm thankful Liz still lives at home-I think I will miss her way too much when she leaves the nest-I can wait for that a little longer.

February is upon us, and I will not lie; February is one of my favorite months of the year. :) Rich and I are going "away" for the weekend for Valentines! Yay! Something nice to look forward. Perhaps by that time I'll also have a working toilet at work. Oh, it really is the little things in life that makes things bearable. It's been cold in the mornings, but today, it is rather warm outside. The sky is blue, the birds are singing, and people are wearing shorts. The Spring-like weather is so beautiful, even this big ole' green turd I work in looks kinda nice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Things

I was tagged on Facebook for 25 Things.. Consider yourselves all TAGGED. Seriously, only if you want to! Write 25 facts about yourself, or your thoughts. It's not as hard as it looks!

Getting to know you...getting to know all about you kind of thing...sorta like a meme.

25 Things:

1. I’ve learned to never regret the obstacles and disappointments of my past. They are part of all that defines me of who I am, how I live, and where I need to go.

2. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was to forgive myself.

3. There is not one day that passes when I don’t miss my father.

4. When I was 19 years old, being the naïve and romantic girl that I was, I wished on a falling star that I would meet my future husband that night, and sure enough, I did. Unfortunately, I did not get the fairytale ending I was hoping for.

5. I’ve seen a ghost.

6. From as early as I remember I’ve always been afraid of aliens. I would have dreams of flying saucers flying over my grandmother’s house. Each flying saucer had the letters UFO plastered on the sides of them. I’m also not to fond of clowns.

7. I hate getting my nails done by men-especially if they have smaller hands then I do.

8. I’ve learned that the most fulfilling job position I can ever hold is MOM.

9. I love babies. I have never met one that I have never loved. There is nothing more precious, or any sound more divine that the sound of baby giggles.

10. I’ve learned to never under estimate a good man. I want to thank my husband’s ex-wife now.

11. A true friend will tell you the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear.

12. I grew up going to church every Sunday, with Portuguese sopas and Lawrence Welk on the T.V. We would pick up my grandmother from her house every day for church, and I remember her perfume. When she died, I was 11, and I took her perfume off the dresser to remember her by. It sits on my dresser now.

13. Two of my children were born on their due dates. My youngest was born two days before. He was to be born on my sister-inlaws’ birthday. She wasn’t going to work that day, so Nicholas chose to be born right when his aunt started her shift in the maternity ward. She delivered him that night.

14. I was born on the 4th day during the 4th month at 12:04. I am the 4th child… I could go on and on about the 4th.. I was married on May 4th, at 4:00 pm.. I never plan it to work that just happens. My world revolves around the number 4 for some unexplainable reason. Did I mention I have 4 kids?

15. Wounds to the flesh heal quicker than the wounds that hit your soul.

16. I’ve had people who have come in and out of my life for only hours at a time who have changed my life forever. I doubt if they even realize it.

17. I love maps. Most of the pictures hanging in my house involve maps of some kind. I also have a longing to travel to far away lands. I also have also found myself attracted to people from different cultures and accents.

18. I’m a California native, but I have a very strong Portuguese background. When I am in the Azores I feel like I am also home. My favorite sound is the language. When I hear it, I get that warm and fuzzy feeling all over.

19. Every night before I go to bed I thank God for my healthy children, my husband (although he doesn’t believe me, he was heaven sent) and my warm home. If you were to ask me 10 years ago if I would ever be so happy in life, I would never believe you.

20. On the day I met my husband, I rode on the Giant Dipper at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz for the very first time in my life. I believe I was 32 years old. On that same day, I went on the merry-go-round and tossed the ring in that clown’s mouth not once, not twice, but 3 times in a row. It was truly the best day of my life.

21. The one thing that aggravates me the most are negative people. I remain positive for the most part. I get disappointed with people sometimes when they don’t share my optimistic attitude. I expect miracles to happen perhaps too often.

22. I have a desire to do something different each month this year. See a new place, read a new book, meet a new person.. I tend to stay in one place a little too often-stay with the places that are always familiar. I need to branch out more.

23. I know sometimes I come across as quiet and shy. I really am not that kind of person. I do tend to not voice my opinion too loudly though. I tend not to express myself to people I don’t know very well. I have friends, but my closest ones can be counted on one hand.

24. Now that I’m older, I feel bolder. I truly believe I didn’t know who I was until I turned 30. I wish I had this much self-confidence when I was younger.

25. My weakness is bread and chocolate. I could live on those two items for the rest of my life, but I doubt I would be still be able to fit in my favorite jeans.

Six weeks without a Toilet

Today I feel like a trapped mouse in a maze.

At work, the office building is being painted, and the bathrooms are being gutted out. The windows are covered with plastic, and we have no working toilet. Sure, there are porta potties out there in the parking lot-but who wants to use those? They even took our water fountain out of the building. To make matters worse, it is freezing cold in my office. I feel like I’m working in a 3 World Country. If it wasn’t for the hand disinfectant we have in the front office, we can’t even clean our hands. There is no running water for my plants either. We were told that we will have to use the porta potties for SIX WEEKS until the bathrooms will be completely ready for our butts to sit down on the new freaken “golden” toilets. Six, freaken weeks! Why on Earth does it take SIX weeks to replace a bathroom?! Don’t we live in America for God’s sake?

I have five choices: 1. Use the porta pottie in the parking lot. Okay, it’s locked, and only people working in the building can use them, but they stink! I will only use it for only if I’m desperate. 2. Use the toilet at the gas station. That is almost worse than the porta pottie-we won’t even go there. 3. Use the toilet at the restaurant behind the building. Okay, that would work, IF I happen to eat there everyday. 4. Go across the street to the county building-that works. Or, finally 5: “Keep it in” until I get to my mother’s house. I guess I could just cross my legs a lot during working hours and not consume any beverages. Lovely. Like my Portuguese friend Maria suggested, I can always hide a commode under my desk. Ha ha ha ha..

Talk about Old School Toilets! Way back in 1971, one of my earliest childhood memories involve seeing my great aunt (Tia Mariquinhas) sitting on a commode. Great memory huh? I was sleeping up there in a loft with my sister, and my mother’s younger cousins, and Tia Mariquinhas was up there with us to watch over us. In the middle of the night, I woke up, and to my utter surprise, there, sitting in the middle of the loft was Tia Mariquinhas sitting on a pot. I hid my head under the covers so she would not see.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve produced an entry! Is it just me, or is this month just flying by very quickly? Last week I was not feeling very well, but today I’m feeling much better. My stomach was doing strange achy things, and this weekend it felt like there was a rubber band tightly strapped around my head. Today, I do feel better.

Today is my daughter’s first day of college courses at her new art university. She is thrilled beyond belief and took the train this morning to downtown San Francisco. San Francisco is a beautiful city, but I’m still feeling a little frightful of the city scene. There are good places, pretty places, and not so pretty places, and scary places. Last week I accompanied her on her one of her orientation days, and at one point we walked a number of blocks through the city. It wasn’t hard to notice all the attention my daughter was getting from various men walking down the street. She was getting the “eye” from the majority of them—from the nicely suited businessmen, to the smelly bum holding a paper bag. It’s not a vision any mother likes to think of, I’m sure. Lizzy of course thought it was all very funny. Apparently, she is used to the attention and it doesn’t bother her one bit. We stopped at a street light, and she asks me if I could adjust the spaghetti straps to her blouse in the back. I really didn’t think it was an appropriate place to do this, because there were men to the side of us, and they were too close to comfort in my opinion. I felt very uncomfortable with it, and told her that we would do it once we got across the street, behind that tree at the next building so no one would see us. Of course Liz thought this all very silly and laughed when I told her about these various men in San Francisco given her second looks.

“Mom, would you be happier if I was ugly?”

Of course I wouldn’t be happier. I just don’t think I’m ever going to grow out of being the worried, protective, nervous mother hen. I may be slowly turning into my mother.

It’s a gloomy, cold Monday, and I have been crossing my legs the whole time while writing this. I think it’s time to head across the street to use the bathroom facilities. Have a wonderful week, y’all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our 44th

OBAMA: My fellow citizens:

"I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

May God give you the strength to lead us. God bless America!! It's a great day to be an American!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Re-Connecting People...One at A Time

As you can see from the title of this entry, I've yet been able to re-connect other people with the help of Yahoo Groups and my cousins overseas. It so happens in a few of these cases, these people are making a reconnection at a time when they REALLY need each other. Some have gone through some really bad times in the recent past-sickness, loss of loved ones. I always find it interesting as well as awesome how our souls tend to seek out the ones we care about, when the other person unknowingly knows or is thinking of the same person. It's like communication of the souls. I'm I getting a little too spiritual/freaky for you? Too hifi almost science fiction freaky?

Well, it never ceases to amaze me. I'm sure all of you have had an experience similar. For example, you'll be thinking of someone just out of the blue, and suddenly.. WHAM! You hear from them, get a phone call or a letter, or you'll get news of them. Or say, you find yourself walking down the street, and.. WHAM! You see someone who looks just like so and so, and then you hear about them. Or has this ever happened to you: You are caught off guard and see someone who looks like someone you have lost. Or this person talks a certain way, or combs their hair in a certain way, dresses, walks a certain way... It doesn't make you sad-rather it makes you happy inside. I confess this happens to me on a regular basis. Call me a weirdo, but it happens.

Then you have these people you know in your life who you hope never leave-they are the ones that seem to know you better than you want to, and you are vice versa with them. They come in and out of your life, and you know they can never stay around very long-you can only complete each other sentences for so long, and then reality sets in-your insecurities are revealed and you are done with them, until one of you dares to reach out to each other again. They may have hurt you deeply; but you will never tell them. May be they know, but why give them the benefit. You may have loved them-but you will never tell them that either. They may have known it-but you can't tell them. If you did, they may just well vanish forever.

Anyway, it's been reconnecting people.. Don't worry, Mary--I'm not going to give out your address-promise. :)

Patrick is out of the hospital! Thank God.. :)

It's finally Friday, but I must say that I'm very happy with my new schedule! I leave each day at 3:30, and I no longer deal with rush 5pm traffic on the way home. I can pick up my youngest from my mom's at daylight, and still make it at home before night falls. I can tidy the house and get dinner ready by 5:30-the time I usually got off of work. I see more of my kids--that's the best benefit of all. Last night I didn't have to stay up until midnight to get my Avon orders bagged either. What a difference a few hours make. Not to mention it's budget time at work, and it looks bad. I've been over-hearing stuff from multiple meetings. My job is not in jeopardy because I've been here forever and a day. Well, I cut my hours, so I did my part to help with the budget crisis. :) I hope it helps some one's job.

Today I plan to take a walk near the ocean at lunch time. We have been blessed with extremely beautiful weather. No cloud in the sky--just blue skies with temperatures in the 70's. It's January, but it feels like Spring! I'm going to try and push this California weather over to you guys up north and south.. I know some of you are freezing. :( I'm sorry!!

It's still winter, and Carnaval time is fastly approaching... Here are some pictures of some of the dances the Portuguese people in the Azores do...

These pictures were not taken by me---they were taken from the stage at the Soicidade of my mother's hometown in Vila Nova, Terceira last year. Blogger will not let me make the pictures bigger! Why?!

I hope to take some pictures from the dances here in San Jose.. Hopefully soon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Small World....big coincidence!

A small world story..

I belong to a group at Yahoo Groups that is about people who are from, or people who have lived on the island of Terceira, Azores-it’s the island my family is from. A lot of the people in the group are from there, but most of the people are U.S. military people who were stationed at sometime there at the U.S. Air Force base in Lajes, like my father was, years ago. These people have good island memories of the island and the people who they lived and worked side by side with them.

I got an email the other day from a woman who was looking for a long time friend who worked at the base as a civilian. This person was one of the chief Portuguese phone operators on the base, who also used to baby sit her children, and was a housekeeper for her family. All she had was a name, “Manuela”. I forwarded the message to my cousins on the island, and to my surprise (I wasn’t really surprised-just happy—it’s a small island-people know each other!) I got an email from Manuela’s former supervisor. My cousin, Joe sent the message to his boss, and his boss sent me information on Manuela who had since retired. I was able to get back to the lady, who was looking for Manuela, and they are both very happy; they’ve reconnected after many years.

The story doesn’t stop there…

Later that night, I asked my cousin Tania if she knew of this Manuela person. It so happens that she does! Her fiancé, Ruben was very close to her son since a very early age, and his mother worked side by side with his mom. All of this talk about this Manuela person stirred up stuff in my own memory as well. I remember, after I had met my ex-husband, (a long time ago-I was 19 at the time) my parents had to install a telephone in my room. The reason why was because of all phone calls I would get at 1 and 2 a.m. in the morning from the boyfriend in the Azores. There is a seven hour difference between the Azores and California. I remember him telling me that he had a friend who worked at the telecommunications section of the base who would help him make free international calls to California. Her name was Manuela, and she was a very nice lady according to him. I thought she was awesome of course. There was a time that I lived for those phone calls from the boyfriend in the Azores. (Of course now, I don’t much care for any calls from him. Thank God my kids have cell phones so he can call them directly.) She would sometimes call him (he worked at the hotel on base) and ask him if he wanted to call his “girlfriend in California”.

It IS a small world after all. She did a big favor for me at one time, I’m just glad I was able to return the favor somehow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thanks, Bill!

This entry is for Bill.. I did not realize how my settings were set up until now!

Thank you, Bill! I have take my word verification down. Now anyone can leave a comment.. I was wondering why I wasn't getting comments from relatives! Now I know, thanks to Bill!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Meme

This is an artsy picture my daughter took of herself. I really like it.

I got this one from Joann's journal! Copy and paste, and highlight the ones listed that you have done! :) Thanks, Joann-I miss doing these.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (only in my dreams)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (only in my dreams)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (only in my dreams)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (nope, I'm not atheltic at all...)
32. Been on a cruise (one day soon)
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (pretend language only)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (sigh)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (only home movies)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (tried too..will try again soon)
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma (I don't do needles)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (only in my dreams)
81. Visited the Vatican (see above)
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem (that would be awesome)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (does a gold fish count?)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hello Thursday...

Well, it's Thursday...

This week has been trudging away slowly-nearly not as fast as much as I would like. Of course the day just speeds up dramatically by the time I get home from work. It's the waking up EARLY part in the morning that I can do without. Oh well. The holidays are over, and it's back to the same ole' routine!

Suprisingly enough, Nicholas has had no problem getting up and going to school. Of course if I didn't wake him up he would be asleep until 9 at least. He missed school when it was out, and he is enjoying his regular routine again. He loves school and he missed his classmates. His schedule however is a little overwhelming. I've requested to have my hours cut temporarily-just a few hours a day. It will hopefully make a big difference in the long run. I'll be able to leave work at 3:30 pm, pick him up from my mom's and make it home before nightfall. I'll be also home early enough to see Andrew's basketball games. I got the okay from my supervisor today, so I'm just waiting to start this new schedule. Yay!

Lately there has been a lot stuff happening to this building. The owner is doing a major facelift to the outside of it, and lately, my co-workers have been greeted over off guard at their windows by the work men refacing the building. Luckily, I don't have a window, so I haven't be caught off guard. There is one guy who frequents Clara's (not real name) window quite often, and he isn't that bad looking. Clara is single, and this guy visits her window a lot--perhaps on purpose?! Who knows may be there will be some sort of love connection happening. Stranger things have happened.

She met her last boyfriend at work. During the mail runs, and her very frequent visits to the main building across the street, there was a guy who just admired her from afar. One day she got this message in her email from him that simply said, "I've seen you every day, and it would be nice to meet you over coffee." I don't know how I would have responded to that email; kind of creepy huh? Well, she did meet him over coffee, and they are still really good friends-sadly no love connection, but it was hot heavy for awhile.

There used to be another younger clerical person here who actually found love next door at the gas station. This was years ago when the cashier working there was a young, handsome guy. She would go in and get her candy every afternoon, (she was a big gal who never passed up an afternoon without her Reeses Peanut Butter Cups) and everyday they would exchange glances and flirt, until one day he actually asked for her phone #. It wasn't long until the two moved in together and got married-I think it all happened within a year or so. Sadly the aren't married anymore-but it was a cute story. The last time I saw her she had colored her hair from her natural black tresses to blonde, and she was hiding her dark eyes with blue contacts. (It was odd to say the least.) She moved down to southern California, and I never seen or heard from her again. Oh well, kind of sad, but at least they didn't have any kids together.

I've just booked a weekend getaway with hubby man.... YAY!

We got the house refinanced at a great rate... YAY!

I'm loving this new underwear by the way... YAY!

I'm looking forward to the weekend of course. I'm going to see some Carnaval dancing at the Portuguese Hall in town Saturday with my friend Angela-that shall be fun. I will try to bring my camera this time. It's only going to be one dance this time-kind of like a trial run or practice, but it should be entertaining. The real Carnaval going ons is going to take place at the end of the month. Clarification of what Carnaval a la Azorean is: It's watching a dance performed on stage-the performers are singing or speaking, as in a theatre performance. Usually all the phrases are done in rhyme--sort of like improvisional "rap". Many of the men on stage take characters of women (yes it can be quite entertaining), and it all involves very elaborate costumes, singing, live music, and dancing. It's not like the Carnaval you see or hear of in Brasil/Brazil. Everyone is fully clothed!

I watched bits and pieces of Patrick Swayze's interview with Barbara Walters last night. So good to see his strong willed atitude. It made me cry just the same however.

How is the first week of the year been treating you? It's been very cold lately, and rainy, but today the sky is blue--just too freaking cold for my liking!!! I'm a little behind on reading blogs..bear with me!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year, New Underwear...

Yes, it's a new year..

Now, honestly--is there any better feeling than wearing new socks and new underwear?

I honestly don't think so! Today I went to Target and bought my self a new six pack of Hanes underwear briefs and I feel like a new woman! YAY!! It was so liberating to throw away all my old underwear out of the drawer. It's the little things in life that can just make the world such a brighter place.

I have not really made any new year resolutions, but I have some IDEAS to make life happier and better. Here are some of my ideas: Take more time do things alone, read more, take better of myself-including more dental and doctor visits, and more walks, spend quality time with the kids, take more weekends away with the husband, and yes-buy new underwear. Life is too short to spend it all in old, uncomfortable, faded underwear.

I bought myself a new pair of running shoes on the internet as well. Life is good!

Okay, Pooh bear doesn't wear underwear. Does he know something I don't?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Welcome 2009!!

Did you do anything fun to send off the new year?

Rich and I and Nicholas just stayed up until midnight at home. Nicholas watched the movie Wall E for the 100th time, and Rich and I watched David Letterman. My daughter was out with her friends (one of her best friend's birthday happens to fall on New Years Day), Matt was at a friend's house (unknown to us, he was at the mall getting his ear pierced), and Andrew was at my mom's house with one of his best friends. My cousin Tania was out with her fiance dancing the night away. The three of us just forced ourselves to stay awake, and then after a few late night phone calls, went to bed like two old people.

Today Rich and I and Nicholas went to see Bedtime Stories, with Adam Sandler. It was pretty entertaining--I do recommend it. It held Nicholas' attention, and it was entertaining for the adults in the audience. Lots of laughs--no dull moments-just a fun movie.

Adam Sandler looks a lot like my ex-husband-but don't tell him that. He thinks he looks more like Sly Stalone, but I beg to differ.

Anyway, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year! May 2009 be the best ever! I have more Christmas pictures to post, and Christmas decorations to put away-it will be a busy weekend. Meanwhile, I am still receiving Christmas cards. Some of my relatives like to send cards AFTER Christmas. I enjoy them anyway--it's so rare to get written anything in the mail nowadays. I got this following video from my good friend Maria:

It's a series of videos "Jeff" made of his Portuguese grandmother. Very hilarious..well to me it is.

Until next time, I have a night Avon delivery. I hope Arnold doesn't follow me with his calculator.

Hugs & kisses!!