Sunday, September 25, 2011

30 Day Blogger Challenge--Day #2.


It's day TWO of my 30 Day Blogger Challenge! The subject of the day is:


The word "Coelha" is a Portuguese word that means generally, a female rabbit. Translated, from Portuguese, my Blogger name have been: Pensamentos of Girl Rabbit. I didn't choose that name because it was too long, and most people don't know what "pensamentos" (thoughts) mean. I could have chosen: Pensamentos da Coelha, but that is just too Portuguese, and I'm sure it would be overlooked quite easily, and because I don't blog in Portuguese, I don't think it would be a good title for a blog written all in English. What's the point of writing something when you aren't targeting the right reader? Or, I could have just translated it all in English and have chosen: Rabbit Thoughts. Hmm...yes, that may have worked, but I wouldn't be attracting my Portuguese reading audience either. By reading my title, I might be attracting people who like rabbits--not that I have anything against people who like rabbits, for I also like rabbits, but perhaps they would think they came across a blog totatlly focused on the animal (which this isn't), or may be it would give the impression of this being a blog about farm animals, or a vegan blog....

In general, this blog is about a Portuguese/American woman; just little piece of my life.

I know what you are thinking. Why Coelha? Does she think she is a rabbit? Does she have rabbits as pets? Does she wish she was a rabbit? What is this fascination about rabbits? Is this woman nuts?

Hmm...well, I may be a little nutty, but let's just say I like the word "Coelha". It takes me back to another time in my childhood. It takes back to that Easter visit, a long, long time ago, when my cousins from far away came to visit us. My cousin, Jose, who was about the same age as myself (13) could not understand the whole concept of the Easter bunny. I was determined to make him a believer! I think he "believed" for about 30 seconds after I ran to the front door with a basket full of Easter treats, rang the door bell, and went back to the dinner table. It was worth the 30 seconds though. (I call this cousin "Coelho" now and then to this day.) :B

To make a long story short (I have a hard time doing this most of the time) the nickname Coelha just stuck. I have become attached to it. The name is MINE!! I have an AOL account under the name Coelha. Believe it or not, I've had people ask in email and instant messenger whether or not I would consider "giving up" my screen name. Can you believe it? NEVER!!! I cannot give up my screen name on AOL because I am the only Coelha on there. It's an original. I don't care if your last name is Coelha or Coelho---this screen name is mine! I don't want my screen name to be Coelha44 or 4Coelha, it's COELHA. I am hardly on AOL anymore but I can't give it up, because if I do, SOMEONE will take it. It's mine. Live with it.

Until next time..

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 1 of My 30 Day Blogger Challenge

Today marks the 1st day of my 30 Day Blog Challenge!! Nevermind I was going to start this over a week ago.. (Thanks Shermeen!) Oh well, as they say, better late than never!!

Day One: Include a recent picture, and write 15 interesting facts about yourself. 15?! Really?! Hmm..interesting facts...gee, I don't know if you can call of this interesting, but here goes:

1. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California-in a fairly small, pretty
coastal town in between San Francisco and Monterey. I would go to bed with my
window open, and the curtains flying. On quiet nights I could hear owls cooing in the distance, and seals calling from the ocean. I shared a bedroom with an older sister who plastered our bedroom walls with Bee Gee and Andy Gibb posters. One day she "flew" out of the window in her nightgown. I could go on with that story, but I think that is one of my sister's interesting facts, so I'll let her tell you about that one.

2. I'm the youngest of 4 children. I truly enjoy being the youngest child. Although it has it's benefits, it's not always easy, but I can't complain. I had a happy childhood, with one mom, and one dad, and one home. Now that I'm older, I realize that this is often a rarety in many families--mine personally. Throughout my life, I've moved quite often, and was a single parent. I know NOW how lucky I truly was/am. The home I was raised in is still there on Alamo Ave. If my father were still alive today, I am more than certain he would be right there with my mom, like always.

3. When I was younger, I was rather shy. Not many people I knew at school
truly knew who I truly was. When I came home from school I was a different child. My teachers all thought I was such a sweet and obedient child. I had them all fooled. At the office I'm a dedicated worker bee, and I get the job done-at home, I get it done, but I'm MOM. In this time of my life, I'd rather be at home and be MOM than at work. I'm a much more fun person outside of the office-I really am.

4. For some odd reason, my life always seems to revolve around the number 4! Here is a small example: I was born the 4th child, on the 4th month, on the 4th day, at 12:04 am. I got married on May 4th at 4 pm. I've been pregnant 4 times, (includes 1miscarriage), and presently, my husband and I have 4 children... I could go on and on about the frequency of times the number 4 comes up in my life, but it gets to be kind of ridiculous after awhile. For some reason the number just pops up, not on purpose, it just happens-no explanation. I was hoping my youngest would be born on the 4th, but he stubbornly decided to born on the 5th...

5. I met my first husband when I was 19 years old. After knowing him for two
weeks, I left the island, and we exchanged letters and telephone conversations.
I left in September, and he came to visit to me the following February. He
never left. We were "married" civilly by a retired judge on Valentines Day in my
mother's living room. The judge was annoyed that we didn't have rings, and he
got even more annoyed when we told him our REAL wedding was going to be in May,
after I turned 20. This was just for the "carta verde" (green card). We were in love, but we were too young. We didn't know eachother, let alone who we were. Before this marriage ended it produced two beautiful children. Although life back then wasn't easy, I don't regret any of it. I appreciate my life NOW more than ever because of it.

6. One of my most favorite memories as a child were vacations spent overseas to the
Azores. The island of Terceira will always be a second home to me, and I have my parents to thank for that. My father would work endless hours, and sometimes a job or two on the side to afford those trips, and for this I will always be forever grateful. We would spend entire summers surrounded by the beauty and culture of my family. It was truly the best gift my parents could ever give to us. We weren't rich by any means, but I always felt special because of those summer trips. I enjoyed ruining my new pumps on cobblestone streets, staying out way too late at nightclubs as a teenager, and truly enjoyed writing by candlelight in my mother's old kitchen.

7. I can touch my nose with my tongue. I know, this is a fascinating fact, but can you do it? Try it and let me know!

8. As mentioned before, between my husband and I we have 4 children. My two oldest children are from my first marriage, my husband has a son from his own previous marriage, and we have one son from this marriage that we share together. Nicholas is this son, and although he was quite a surprise birth for the both of us, having this child was quite a blessing. His birth just tied this family together, and I am so glad I share a child with this amazing man that I call my husband, Richard.

9. My two oldest children were born on their due dates. I'm not lying--it's true. With the help of Erik Estrada, (that's another entry) Lizzy was born effortlessly, and then there was Andrew who practically swam out. Nicholas wanted to make things interesting, so he was born two days early. All I can say is If I had that miracle shot, epidural with my older children, I would have had more kids; perhaps 8! I love kids.

10. I have a brother, an older brother that passed before I was born. His name was Edwin, and I've "known" him every since I was young. I grew up knowing NEVER to run across the street without looking both ways. I remember looking at his baby pictures, thinking they were of my own, and I remember those bittersweet looks from my dad telling me how much I looked like him when my hair was pulled back in a pony tail. I know it's possible to miss someone you never met.

11. I believe in ghosts. I do believe that life goes on after death, but I'm not that sure if there is life in other planets. I guess it is possible, but were you as disappointed as I was when they sent that robot to Mars and NOTHING happened? I don't know, I guess I was expecting to see some kind of life form come up to it and say hello or something. It was quite uneventful. I guess life in another universe is possible, but I tend to lean towards believing in things that I have seen more. I believe in ghosts--I've seen a few.

12. I remember laying in my crib as a baby. I remember seeing my mother looking down at me, and I remember a doctor looking down at me. I remember what I was thinking while I was laying there. You may think it's ridiculous, but I remember where my crib was located in my parent's room. Babies are smarter than what you may think.

13. I admire people who go out and act on their dreams. I admire courageous people who go against the norm and create beautiful things. I don't believe anyone has the right to tell you that "it isn't possible" because I truly believe that ANYTHING is possible, if you have faith within yourself. I try and remind myself this every day. What this world does not need is more negativity. I'm drawn to positive people. I see my glass half full than half empty. I love my family, my friends, Jesus and my faith, my country and I love Disneyland!

14. My dream job has always involved traveling and writing. Writing is always there. There is a voice inside me telling me to "write that book"...believe me, it hasn't shut up yet. There was a futile attempt way back when in my 20's, and the opportunity hasn't come up recently, but I hope to do some traveling in the next few years to places I've always dreamed of going. Perhaps this time next year I will more traveled. I've promised myself a trip to Rome before I turn 50...I've got 5 more years...wish me luck!

15. Okay, I'm at my last "interesting" fact about me. Besides writing, and day dreaming of traveling to Rome, and time with my family, I enjoy a good walk. I know it may sound a little old ladyish, but I quite enjoy it. I walk on a fast pace, and I like to pass people on my walking trail. I put my pink Ipod ear plugs in and I'm in another zone. I enjoy walking near the ocean, but I'll take a lake, or a mountain, or a walk through the redwood trees. I'll even deliver a few Avon brochures on my way. Oh yes, I am also an Avon lady part time--I am a Skin So Soft pusher.

Until next time... :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Did I Do That? Really?!

Have you ever automatically reacted badly or embarrassingly (is that a word?) to a situation that you didn’t have any control over? You discover that your natural instincts, and innocent reactions have taken over, and you don’t realize what you’ve done until it’s over, and there is nothing you can do to better the situation. It’s an awful feeling. All you can do is HOPE that no one saw you just do that. You can’t go back to that person to explain, because it would only make the situation worse. Well, unfortunately I’ve had a few of those embarrassing moments. Here are a few examples:

It’s one thing to have it happen in a public place with people you don’t know, but when it happens at work, it never goes away, no it just lingers. No one really talks about it—not to your face anyway. You are left NEVER knowing if “so and so” saw you do that, or heard you say that…. Sure, they will talk about it behind your back, perhaps in the break room with low voices and silent chuckles, but you’ll probably never hear about it. You are left to wonder, and ponder if you were caught acting badly.

In one incident, I walked into the women’s bathroom and almost caused a scene. In front of the mirror, washing their hands, I saw a tall figure. I immediately was taken aback. My natural instincts told me that I may have been in the wrong bathroom! Was that a man at the sink? From where I was standing, all I knew was it was a tall person, wearing manly loafers, very short hair, and wearing a long sleeve button down shirt, and low rise slacks. I felt myself stop in my tracks, and jump back a little, my eyes transfixed on the figure, until she came up to look in the mirror to fix her hair. I have no idea if she had seen my look of horror, and bewilderment or relief when she saw my reflection in the mirror. I looked like a deer caught in the headlights; I was in shock. Eventually, all I knew was I had to stop looking, and proceed to my stall as quickly as possibly, and try to avoid any further eye contact... I sat there on the toilet feeling really awful afterwards. What if I had said something horrible, questioning whether or not she was a man? Oh how embarrassing that would have been. Oh my God… I couldn’t even finish “my business” after that.

In another bathroom work place incident, I went into a stall to try and do my business, yet again, when I noticed heavy breathing coming out from the stall next door. It took all the strength I had not to knock on the stall wall and ask if the person next to me was “okay”. This person was heaving, and gasping for breath. I did not know that the person next to me was one of my superiors, who happened to be a larger woman. How was I to know that she always “heaved” and “gasped” when she was “doing her business?” I swear, I thought this woman was going to die in there. I thought it was a client, or another person working in the building. If I had said something, I don’t think it would have gone very well. Thank God I didn’t say anything. It would have been awful. I wouldn’t have been able to look at that woman in the face again.

For a number of years, I worked in a fairly small office, mostly with women. As the secretary, in this office, I became friends with all my co-workers, and having worked with them for a number of years, I grew to know them very well. I had met their boyfriends, children, friends, etc., family stories, and I was invited to a lot of the family/friend events. It was a very casual, and comfortable, close knit working environment. So, in comes a call for my friend Vickie. Her boyfriend, whom she had been living with for years, is on the phone and asks to speak with her. What do I say loudly across the busy, client waiting room? I call out:

“Vickie, your LOVER is on the phone!”

I’m so glad my friend Vickie has a sense of humor.

I’m getting better, but now and then I still squirm at the work place. I’ve caught myself assuming that people in the lobby are clients, when in fact they are judges or cops working undercover, and I accidentally told a person, who I thought was a janitor about some of my life history, when, later, I found out he was really a client, who happened to be a registered sex offender… I could go on and on, but there is one person in particular in the work place that makes me squirm each time I see him. He may have noticed, and I’m hoping he hasn’t, but I’m pretty sure he has seen me react badly at times when I see him. I’m afraid he has seen some weird looks from me—looks like I’ve just seen a ghost or something. He may think I’m really strange. I can’t help it, but from behind, this guy looks just like my ex-husband! So, sometimes, when I’m caught off guard, and forget he is around, I’ll suddenly see him walking towards me, and I cringe, and my heart stops a little, and I squirm, and sometimes I’ll make a face, like “someone just hit me in the stomach face.” Poor guy has no idea, and it’s embarrassing, but it just happens, and I can’t control it. I guess it’s okay if he thinks I’m odd, but I just hope he doesn’t think I find him attractive like the majority of the women in the building. He seems to have an ego, like someone “else” I used to know, which doesn’t help. I hope he doesn’t think: “Oh that Julie is gushing over me again…like, everyone else..” Squirm.