Friday, August 12, 2011


I'm home alone.  Something new to me.  It's not like I have a house full of kids living at home.  No, I only have one who lives here, but it's rare that I should be here alone with no one knocking on the door.  Unusual for an apartment manager.

My daughter is far, far away, which makes me a little sad but I know she'll be home Tuesday the 16th.  She's way over on the other side of the world.  India to be exact.  About 13 hours time difference.  She won't be coming home tonight and because it's Friday, hopefully most tenants are out enjoying their Friday night or indoors resting from a week of work.

So I figured, what better time to write.  Almost got distracted but decided not to let anything get in the way of a little time for me.  I showered, changed into something comfy, smeared myself crazy with lotion and sat down at the computer with wet hair.  WHAT A WONDERFUL FEELING!!!  YES!

I've been on GO and GO fast, for the last month or so, waiting for this moment.  This one.  Right here and now.  It's a little odd now that I'm here.  I keep thinking I should be doing something else, not that I want to, but when you spend so much time on the go you have to re-train yourself to stop.  I stop all the time but it's usually because I've fallen asleep.  Sad, isn't it?

As long as I'm here, I think I should write something.  Maybe something clever.  Something funny.  Something deep.  No, something utterly ridiculous........Darn, ain't that the way.  I have the time but I'll be darned if I can think of anything to write!

I'm getting mad; I can't think of anything to write.  Maybe if I talked to someone I'd get some ideas.  Speaking of which, why the heck has no one called me?  Doesn't anyone care?  Doesn't anyone want to spend time with me?  Is it something I said or did?  Maybe it's my hair; I knew I should have colored it lighter.  It could be my clothes, I haven't bought any clothes for a long time now.  I'm out of style and those few pounds I gained have turned everyone off.  I've been eating too much garlic lately, my breath is probably horrendous...oh, jeez, I forgot to polish my toenails and everyone has noticed.  It might be that the last time I hung out with any friends I was boring.  I need spice up the conversation, learn a new language, get a new look, pick up an instrument............Whoaaaaaaaaa!   Maybe this time alone stuff isn't such a good idea after all....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Incredible to see God work in your childs life

As you look back on your childs life, you can clearly recall events that made you so proud of who they are.  It could be how they chose to deal with someone who wasn't treating them well or maybe the day they realized they could overcome a fear.  Maybe you've watched your child perform in front of a crowd or something as unbelievable as making their bed without you having to threaten their life to make it happen.

I've witnessed Karina do so many things to make me proud that I often wonder if she knows just how proud I am of her.  I try to tell her now and then just to make sure she knows.  I consider myself truly blessed to have such a well behaved child.   

Recently Karina decided to go on a mission trip to India with Revolution Church.  When I asked her why she wanted to go, her response was clear.  She said she felt she needed a spiritual challenge and would love the opportunity to share the Gospel and talk to other kids her age about the love of God.   Karina regularly attends her Youth Group at church and has consistantly invited kids from High School to join her.

I'm so very proud that when other kids have decided they're much smarter than their parents and have started listening to the peers "advice", she still comes to me.

Karinas trip is not one that will be easy.  Travel time to their destination in southern India will take 2 days.  They will be visiting villages where there has never been fresh water to dedicate water wells.  They'll visit orphanages and seniors in elderly care centers, provide medical and hunger relief to many in need and share God's love with tens of thousands of people by putting on a 3-night crusade. 

I so much want this to be a success for the team, for the people of India and for God.  My biggest delima is in the area of finances.  It costs $2,750 per person not including shots & malaria pills, passport and supplies. 

This is where you might want to come in.  As most mission trips do, I'm asking friends and family to invest in the success of her trip by either prayer, a tax deductible financial offering or both.    A website has been created for this purpose so if you felt led, please click on the link below and then follow your heart.
Donate to Karina's India Cause by clicking here

Thank you so much and please know that sending my daughter off to a foreign country is difficult.  It was with my older daughter Jenifer when she went too but I know this trip will not only be a blessing to the person traveling but also to those who will witness the testimony of a young girl who knows in whom peace can be found.  If it's taking this much faith and trust in God for me to allow my 16 year old daughter to go, imagine how much more faith and trust she has already placed in the Lord.  Incredible how we can learn from our children.

Thanks and God Bless.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What a Quack up!

A couple of weeks ago on one of my regularly scheduled days off I walked outside, as I do every morning, work or not.  No work doesn't mean I get to sleep in....well, maybe a little; getting up at 7:00 a.m. as opposed to 4:45 a.m. makes somewhat of a difference but, on the days I stay home I feel it my responsibility to take my daughter and nephew to school since my sister takes them on the days I work.

So on this particular morning although I was able to wake up later, I still walked through the regular routine;  crawl out of bed, head to the bathroom, get dressed, grab keys and head out to the laundry room to unlock the door.

As I'm walking out the front door I spy through my peripheral vision some unusual, low lying movement.  If your first thought was Superman....maybe even Spiderman, please head back on down that road to reality; there is no such thing....okay, okay I admit that was my first thought too. 

After the wave of fear subsided and I managed to get my shoes back on I realized that what I saw was none other than a couple of ducks looking for someplace to chillax, do a little back stroke; take time off from the regular routine.  Just two love birds getting a little R & R.  Where the heck was the rest of the flock anyway? 
I guess even duckies need a little time alone.

I remained frozen thinking any movement would send them flying off to the Hawiian Islands...Next stop: Honolulu!  Not so.  The little buggers hardly gave me a second glance. 
I'm wondering if you think me silly to sound so excited about two little duckies swimming in a pool.  If you don't, I do.  See, for some reason, seeing those little duckies and immediately after thawing out, I created a dialog that went something like (and spoken in a Daffy Duck voice):  Him: Beautiful weather we're having, don't you think luv?  Her: Yeth my darling, juth beautiful.  Him: Then howth about a thwim Thweetheart?  Her: Abtholutely, lead the way dear.

This was not the first time I'd seen ducks up close and personal so I can't use that for an excuse for the exthitment.  No, I think it was just that, since we moved into the apartments, although some very interesting events have taken place with the humannoids around here, I haven't seen anything in the way of animals or pets lately.  The last, say, 12 years we lived with our two dogs and since they're gone and all I have as a replacement are barking tenants (if you hadn't heard that story, read my Apartment Living post) I suppose I'm just a little lonesome for the company of a friend that will listen to me, even when I'm a grouch, and not feel the need to give their 2 cents. 

So!  There you have it.  I might be living 11 miles from the beach or any other large body of water and not expect to see my fine feathered friends in my back yard but apparently ducks are not all that particular of where they take a dip.  As long as they can go for that morning swim, that's all that matters.  Quacks me up! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Small World Isn't it..........

A few days ago I read the blog of a long time friend of mine, Juan Talavera, cleverly entitled Juan's Blog.  Juan often does recaps of his busy schedule just to let everyone know where he's been, what he's up to, and his upcoming auditions.

Juan is a Flamenco dancer in the true sense of the word(s).  He started dancing at a very early age and unlike some of us, never stopped.  I dare not say his age without his permission but I will say, he's a tad bit older than I, and I'm 55.  Sorry Juan.

When I started dancing Flamenco many, many years ago, Juan was one of the people I took classes from.  He lived nearby so we frequently drove together to classes and shows.  I would say we became friends, not the kind of friend that is inseperable; not at all, but we did spend a decent amount of time together.  I admired his talent then and still do today.

So back to Juan's blog.  For some reason, in his last blog he talked about one of his early teachers "Corina Valdez".  I don't recall him ever sharing that bit of information with me before or I'd have done what I did while reading his blog; I dropped my jaw in surprise.   Corina was my first teacher too.  Big surprise. 

Through one of Corina's shows I was first introduced to Flamenco.  I still recall Arlene (a non-related cousin type) dancing a Spanish number in what's called a bata de cola.  The video below isn't Arlene but it'll give you an idea of what the bata de cola looks like.

For many, many years I wondered if the day would ever come when I'd have a chance to learn Flamenco.

After reading that Juan studied with Corina I left a comment that I too had studied with her and gave a little background of how Cornia and I are non-related.  Her sister was married to my mom's uncle.  In the Mexican culture, that means she's a non-relative treated as a relative.  Whatever.  I'm totally confused and not sure what I wrote but....does it really matter?  My point, if there ever was one, is that Juan and I were around a lot of the same people. 

Juan and I travelled to Spain together....did we actually travel together Juan?  Doesn't matter, we were in Sevilla and Madrid at the same time.  We went to a disco in Sevilla and showed up at 9p.m., far too early, had to leave to get a bite to eat and then returned after 11p.m. and were still early.  I believe it was later that evening that we took a cab with a friend I'd made in a dance class.  He took us to a club where the gypsy's hung out and danced Sevillana's.  I must say, they (the gitanos - gypsy's) intimidated us, but we stayed for a while.  Oh how I wish I'd had a video camera....

I remember a night in mid October when we were caught in the rain.  I don't know if Juan remembers but,  I had an umbrella and tried to share it with him, he's a tall guy but being the kind hearted person I am I was determined to keep him dry.  He grabbed the umbrella I'M SURE thinking he would keep us both out of the rain but due to his height, and quick stride, he stayed dry and I....well to say that my hair got frizzy would be an understatement.  Thanks Juan!

After a few months I returned home and Juan stayed on.  It was his first trip to Spain after having danced for many, many years.  Since then I think Juan has returned maybe five times.  I have too, in my dreams.

I just want to say that if you ever, ever need a Flamenco dancer; to take classes from or to perform, you must, must, must visit Juan's website  And if you're not in need of a dance class or dancer,visit his website anyway.  Juan was one of the original members of "El Cid" on Sunset which was originally a movie studio. 

Juan Congratulations on your many years of dancing.  Keep up the good work, you're an amazing dancer and man.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Apartment Living

Well, I admit; it's just a little nicer living in apartments when you're the manager in that I got to pick out my carpet, I have nicely painted walls instead of the standard Navajo White, I have the only garage with a door that leads to my patio and into the kitchen, the Crown Molding adds a special touch and the cost of living is answering your door at unusal times and having pushy sales people call at 6:45 A.M., looking for the Housekeeping department.

Today my daugher asked "do these people ever stop bothering us?" and I responded, "yes, when we start paying rent".  In other words, get used to it honey, ain't gonna happen.  The front door say's "Manager", i.e. "bother at will".   I mean seriously, why would I answer my door with an attitude when the benefits are beyond what I could have imagined?

I must admit, some very unusal things have happened here.  I have a tenant who barks when he's mad.  I know this because he came to my door with his complaint.  I stood and listened and then "tried" to explain what I was doing to resolve a problem when the tenant who happened to be inside with me thought it necessary to come to my aid.  She was wrong, of course, but I appreciate the fact that she wanted to show her support....unfortuantly, her style and mine are quite different.  The tentant outside the door thought it necessary to tell me what to do and so the two began a "discussion" of their own...I kept asking the one inside to let me handle the situation but those motherly instincts had already kicked in.  The next thing I know the tentant outisde barked...aahaa, barked. Just like a know, woof, woof, woof.  If that isn't crazy enough she barked back.  For a few seconds I thought maybe it was a full moon.  I waited in anticipation to see if either of them would grow facial hair but it never happened.  My daughter was sitting on the sofa watching and later told me she was ready to call the animal shelter...ok, that's a lie but she was ready to call the police.

It was something out of a bad book.  So stupid you wanna just put it down but just interesting enough to keep you there.  After a few barks, I stepped back up hoping neither of them would bite me in the ankle and asked them to sit, which of course was followed by a treat...another lie.  I did manage to get in between the two and four fleas later was relieved when the two were ready to let me take my position again and speaking in English was able to calm them both down, no belly scratching involved.

The next day the female dog called to say she was sorry; that she could never do what I do.  To which I responded of course, grrrrrr...ate!  Thought I was gonna growl, didn't you!  I tried to make her feel a little better by saying that we all have our own method and mine is to try to avoid argument, and listen before allowing myself to be drawn into a no win situation.  She said her husband told her to mind her own business but I think he sat her down and calmed her by squashing a few fleas. 

I appreciate the fact that she wanted to come to my defense.  I do, really.  I think she mistook my patience as weakness.  But all I was doing was allowing him to voice his complaint without him thinking I didn't care what he had to say.  I admit, I didn't enjoy the way he thought he needed to voice his complaint; some people think that yelling is the best path to wining but once I was able to get them both to calm down, he quietly listened to what I had to say and then left on his merry way.

It could be he was embarrassed as hell....if hell get's embarrassed...or maybe his wife was whistling for him, not sure.  All I know is he walked away, lifted his leg at the first tree and left me in peace for the rest of the evening.  Now I know why he never came with his wife when she was deciding if she wanted to apply to rent.  God bless her.

Yes, managing apartments has it's benefits...I'm just glad we don't allow animals on our property.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm baaaack............

It's been a long time since I've blogged.  I've had every intention of writing but something has kept me down.  Maybe the intensity with which every day has every hour filled.  Possibly the move from my home to apartment manager.  Or it could just be the ups and downs of my daily life.  Whatever the reason, I've not blogged and I miss it immensely.

This morning I awoke at 6:30 and decided I had no particular reason to get up; except that the laundry room needed opening.  With all the selfishness I could muster up in me I decided "the heck with it!"...I laid down and settled in for a few minutes more of shut eye only to wake again at 7:15. 

Knowing that there are a few people who wash Sunday mornings, I threw my jeans on and headed over to the laundry room to open up.  The wind was blowing so strong but it was a warm tropical wind...yes, here in California..I actually strolled over and enjoyed the warmth of the breeze.

I came back in and decided to read my emails and found one from my very good friend, Debbie, of  That was it!  I moved on to my cousin Anita's blog

I won't be writing much this morning; have to study some songs and get ready for church and Worship but, now that my schedule has changed and I'll have more time on my hands I plan on getting back to blogging.  It'll be such a joy to get back to doing something I love.  I can almost hear Tye from Extrememe Home Make Over saying "Welcome Home, Marie, Welcome Home".