Saturday, October 15, 2016

"What if This is As Good As It Gets?"...

I've been watching live online Kabbalah lessons on and off for a few years now, thinking back I've always had this burning curiosity most of all about life itself. I've asked myself so many questions we most likely all do at some point or another, usually when we don't feel right about something we attracted into our experience.

Who am I? What am I here for? Where is here? Am I going somewhere next? Is death really the end? Am I having fun figuring it all out or am I taking everything too personal? Is my experience an adventure or a penitence? Am I paying a price or getting away with murder? What exactly am I supposed to be doing? Is this "As Good As It Gets"?

I can go on and on with the questions that have popped in my mind over a lifetime and no matter how much I've discovered, learned, how clear I feel now about my personal adventure, I keep on searching and discovering new things every day and I have my own curiosity to thank for that. That insatiable need to know what's true and what isn't, what's real and what's fake, how to understand and avoid having those negative emotions like fear, anger, resentment, pain, anguish, jealousy that I've experienced at times in my life and how to take full and complete responsibility for any and every outcome, all I attract into my life and how to remain in a state of harmony and acceptance of all that is instead of placing resistance where there shouldn't be any. 

I'm always open to whatever my life presents to me because I know nothing. I just go in search of the answers and in everything I search I can relate to some part of my findings. I base my decisions on what makes sense to me and of course the more I search for the answers the bigger the questions.

The perception I have of Kabbalah is that there is a Creator and a Creature (that's us here in what they call the Corporeal World) we are just One Creature that Source created to give us all Source is which is Complete Bestowal or The Will to Bestow. The Creator needed what they call a Vessel to Bestow so we were created as the Vessel of Reception or The Will to Receive. And let's just stop there because it has to be taught by those who really take the time to study while I am just an observer so I can make more intelligent decisions on how to be the best version of myself and try to help others do the same.

Just like with Kabbalah I have had curiosity about other beliefs and religions. I wouldn't say I've studied any of them in depth, what I do is search for those beliefs they all have in common, that's what matters most to me because everyone that ever existed since the beginning of words has had thoughts, beliefs and experiences and if all of them agree with a few of all of those put together, then that become a great candidate for me to vote to incorporate it into my Life Experience.

Kabbalah says that we are all One and so does every other religion. They all agree there is nothing else other than The Creator or whatever name you call our original Source.

So if The Creature (Us) is a vessel of reception and in order to receive correction we have to become like The Creator, because of the way we were created we can't do that on our own, we have to do it as a collective, in other words as the One Creature that we are by joining forces together.

I wanted to write the definition, synonyms and antonyms  for the word Humanitarian but I found 299 synonyms and 134 antonyms and that's just a waste of time and space. 

We are The Will to Receive and apparently we don't have a clue what The Will to Bestow means, I know a lot of us would like to know but in order to find out we are supposed to go through the stages of correction and do it as one.

How many celebrities not only from the Entertainment Industry, or people in your own circles, friends, family members, acquaintances, etc. do you know that say they are any of the definitions,  descriptions or synonyms of Humanitarian. Yes maybe they open schools for poor girls in Africa to help them make something of themselves, or teach women in third world countries a craft or a trade so they can help raise their children, donate to the charity of their choice, maybe build hospitals, fund a few grants, pay for someone's college or help rescue victims of Natural Disasters. All those things are wonderful and everyone involved in making this a better world should be praised and appreciated but this is not what it is meant by The Will to Bestow, apparently it can't be if we are created as a vessel of reception. Full Bestowal is do everything for others nothing for yourself.

I read once where they were talking about Humanitarians of the caliber of Ghandi and Mother Teresa, they don't come any better and yet what it said was that even when you become a true humanitarian like them it is still not considered complete bestowal because there is still the part of the EGO that makes them feel better doing it than the guilt of not getting involved,  that they help others because it makes them feel good and that it must be Complete Bestowal in order to reach the level of correction to become like The Creator.  And it's not one correction it's hundreds, not one step on the ladder its lots.

I have a difficult time believing that the day will come when all of us will join forces together to get back to The Creature that The Creator Created no matter how many "Humanitarians" there are out there, perhaps more now than ever but then again we are more of everything, we are simply more divided each time and in my humble opinion and observation Egoism is at its worse, I'm sure most of us do our part the best we can, I do it every day with as many people as I am able who happen to cross my path in the best possible way but I'm just as happy to go back home and retreat from the world, from all the portions of Me who are out there living their own experience. 

Even if this is "As Good As It Gets, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!...

Hugs xoxo


Sunday, October 9, 2016

As Seen on TV...

Our Chat with Espresso this morning was about the influence that TV has had in our lives. There's been a TV around me from the day I was born in January of 1952. Looking back it seems like such a long time ago when TV was still Black and White. The one thing I recall vividly for some reason are some of the different TVs that we had in my house when I was a child. I recall this large piece of furniture I must have been 2 yrs. old, today with a surface of that size you can put up a large screen TV that looks like you're in the theater maybe a 52in. screen or a bit larger and that big piece of furniture then only held maybe a 20 in. screen that if you were sitting far back enough you may not be able to make out some of the details.

Of course there were no remote controls, not even to turn it on of off, which to me it was a good thing, every time you got off your butt to change a channel you had a chance to stretch your legs, mingle with the family, maybe go to the bathroom, pour a cold glass of carbonated water for you and your husband, you know detach from that hypnotic state that we get into when we watch that box.

I lived the era when we had these see through harder plastic covers with colors on them. You would place them in front of the TV screen and it turned the black and white into the colors that were on the plastic. Why this was invented and why my dad would buy it I have no idea, I mean what was the chance that the pink would be on all the faces and the green on the grass 0 so it must have looked distorted at best.

And do you remember how deep those screens were? I had an Uncle, my father's only brother I have very fond memories of him, el Tío Pepe we called him. He was a TV repairman. His house was always full of TVs that he was repairing, there were these bulbs you used to have to change from the back of the TV, the bulb would burn out and the TV would stop working, so you had to carry that huge glass screen and take it to a place like my Uncle's and they would fix it for you, it wasn't that cheap even then and what a drag. Then repairmen got smarter and started making house visits charging extra. 

TVs were expensive for a middle class family of 5, you could only have a medium size one in the living room for the whole family to sit and watch. That was actually nice because it kept us closer together as a family. The kids were allowed to watch till 8:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 on weekends. 

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood come from the shows on TV I used to watch. Cachirulo and his Fairy Tales, Club Quintito, Topo Gigio, talent, game shows, comedies. 

There are many shows on TV that I like, but I don't really seem to find any when I'm alone. I rather spend my time with the things I want to do like writing than watch how others do things while I'm sitting here watching them.

My husband on the other hand can't live without TV, so the moment we wake up he turns it on. He loves to watch the news, re-runs of our Argentinian Soap Operas from the day before he missed because he was at work and sometimes I notice that he leaves on whatever, like sports for example that he doesn't really like. I think it's just this need to hear sounds perhaps to relax his own thoughts. I rather put a meditation tape and set my intentions for the day, recharge my energy, increase my vibrations, or listen to whatever music puts me in the mood that I want to be at that moment, perhaps nostalgic, maybe happy, or to concentrate and write and anything in between. 

Lately I've been proving to my husband how what we watch on TV first thing in the morning changes what happens throughout your day. Instead of watching news or soaps we watch re-runs of some of my favorite shows like Frasier. We both laugh so loud every time we watch Frasier even though my husband doesn't really understand what they are saying, they speak in a very tight and more polished English, but they're so expressive in their actions and their relationships are so consistent that you get to expect the reactions and it keeps you happy and laughing, such a magical way to start the day for me. 

It's unusual that once he leaves the house I would keep the TV on unless of course I know there will be a re-run of one of the shows I follow and couldn't watch last night, like The Voice for example. I adore talent shows, always have, so much amazing talent out there it's a privilege for me to watch them. I even get up and applaud. I keep it on many times because right after Frasier comes Cheers. Another well done clever, intelligent and charming. Makes me feel happy, as if I was there at the Bar flirting with Sam and laughing with them. I think I'd order a frozen Mango Margarita.

I wouldn't have dreamt that one day we could watch TV on a wristwatch like Maxwell Smart, in the car, on the Airplane, have a movie theater inside the house with surround sound a huge flat screen and front row recliners, program it to record what you want to watch and of course no more getting up and changing the channels, nowadays they even make it hard for you to find the buttons on the TV you have to push to change the channels, sometimes you have to read manuals or watch videos to know how to work some of these remotes. I rather push the on and off  button if you ask me.

I wouldn't mind going back to black and white if I had to erase a few of the advances we have that make us put more and more distance between each other, that reminds us every day of all the cruelty that exists in the world and how in spite of the fact that we know that and all the best intentions of some many good people out there in this Wonderful World of Ours, EGO is at an all time hi. As Seen on TV...

Hugs xoxo

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Project Bubbah!!!...בּוּבָּה

Bubbah was the way we called our grandmother Etko when we were growing up. All of those years of calling her that and we never knew that we were saying the wrong word. My first cousins used to call her Bobe so why did our parents tell us to call her Bubbah Etko instead of Bobe I will never know, they are both Angels as is Bobe Etko. When I lived in Israel is when I found out what the real meaning of the word Bubbah is in Hebrew.

Hebrew and Yiddish are two completely different languages, not all Jewish people speak both, I don't know the history of it because it's not really that important to me but I've read here and there that Yiddish was used by Azquenazi Jews in some parts of Europe whereas Hebrew was used more in places like Italy and Spain by Sephardic Jews, maybe I'm wrong but I do notice knowing a little bit of both, more Hebrew for me, that they do have some similarities in a few words, I wasn't raised in a Jewish parroquial school like my cousins were and where they teach you Hebrew as a second language, I was raised in a bilingual English/Spanish school and Ashkenazi Jewish grandparents who spoke only Yiddish, so Bubbah supposedly was the Yiddish version of Bobe,  so if my grandma Etko who came from Poland and didn't speak Spanish very well said that, I certainly believed her.

The real meaning of the word bubbah in Hebrew is doll, now what that has to do with grandma I don't know, but what I do know is what my intuition is telling me.

I think that word was placed by my own intention when I entered this realm because I've been entertaining this idea for a few years now and I think I'm just going to express my idea to the Universe to make it Manifest once and for all.

I'm very partial to older people for many reasons, because I wasn't there when my Bubbah Etko passed away nor was I sitting right next to my own mother Bobe Sarah holding here hand and telling his how much I was going to miss her, because I couldn't take care of them and I don't know if I told them enough how much I loved them and how grateful I am to have been a part of their Life Adventure. Because most people focus on youth, the new generations, the future of the world and those who are on their way out get neglected and left alone to die a slow and lonely death.

Even if you're lucky enough to get to an old age where your children go visit you at a Home for the Aged every weekend and the place is all fancy and you have a nurse next to your bed all day, you are basically a prisoner there till the day you die and what I want more than anything in this world is create a Campaign to help ease some of the pain that comes with just sitting there waiting to die and each day that passes is the same. I want to bring them some comfort and joy.

Even if you have activities in the Retirement Home and food is good and you don't have to cook it it's still the same life every day. I am such a free spirit that I could never wind up in a place like that, I just want to live as long as I am still able to enjoy that freedom and can take care of myself. 

I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, not even a social worker but I would challenge all of those communities to do a test on this Project I call Project Bubbah!

It's a very simple project. My desire is to get sponsors, I would like to create a Bubbah! - Doll that we can donate to all of the Residents that live in Retirement homes. Every one of them would receive a doll that they will personally name. There will be a small ceremony for each Adoption and a Birth certificate with the name of the Adoptive Parent and the name of the Bubbah! The certificate will be framed and hung in their room with a picture of their themselves with their Bubbah. 

If you cried like I did in the scene where Tom Hanks realizes that he has just lost Wilson, his Best Friend, his Only Friend and Companion and he starts apologizing to him as he sees him drifting away in a desperate attempt to rescue him, you know how powerful it can be to have something, even an inanimate object that you grant the power to take your loneliness away.

So today I declare my Intention to the Universe, I bow to do whatever it takes to create this project and see it through to completion.

No matter how much I've done so far for this project that lives right in the center of my heart and is an important component of my "Bucket List, I declare today Project Bubbah Launching Day!!!...בּוּבָּה 

And let the Games Begin... Do I hear a Hurray out there?

Hugs xoxo

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Now I Know my ABCs...

I just realized lately that I've been involved in Education my whole life, first as a student then as administrator, teacher, interpreter, volunteer, I was one of those school mom's who was always in my kids classrooms, I would teach the kids in their class Spanish as a volunteer. I didn't want to be the President of the PTA much less their entourage I wanted to gift the kids who were my children's friends and neighbors with the ability that was innate to me, what came natural which was my birth language.

I have seen so many changes in the amazing evolution of education. My trajectory is interesting because with the standards that Education has nowadays I would have definitely qualified for special education services. This is the recollection I have of my childhood education which is not really a lot because I didn't like going to school too much, for one I used to live right across the street from my school, it was a private bilingual school instead of the Jewish Paroquial School all my cousins and Jewish friends went to. So every time we went to Temple where my dad used to work as an administrator, which was just about every Friday night for Shabat Services, or to the CDI every weekend, I never had anything in common with all the kids that were there. I mean we played the same but then they'd go away to their lives and I went off to a different life experience.

My dad would say that his priority was that we speak English, so instead of sending us to Jewish Paroquial School to learn values and exotic languages like Hebrew, to find out first hand about our heritage and go on trips with my friends to Israel and be with all those kids that we were surrounded by in every event that we attended. We were Jews in a land of otherwise Catholic Indoctrination so we stuck together as a group.

We'd go to the "Centro Deportivo Israelita de México" CDI or the JCC here in the US. You have to understand that my father was "The Master of Ceremonies" for the Jewish Community, he broke the barriers and would MC for Ashkenazi as well as Sefaradic Jews. There was then a palpable separation. We each gravitated to our own, as if we were a different species. I never understood that part of the community.

So my education having been a totally other face of the coin in a way wound up alienating me from those friends I would frequent whenever I was not in school. I never felt like I belonged on either side. I always felt "Parallel Parked in a Perpendicular World".

I remember not being able to retain all the information that was being given by the teachers, I'm not sure if it was because my mind wondered and I couldn't stay focused enough to pay attention because that still happens to me these days, so if I didn't get what was being taught from the very beginning I would start to fall behind more as the year went on because I could never catch up. The funny thing about this whole pattern which is what it became, is that nobody ever taught me the way I was able to learn like they do to children these days through special education services.

It is impressive to see how precise they are with every single child who doesn't fall within the average for learning. I would get sent bad report cards and corrected in front of all the students. The one thing I remember like it was yesterday is always choosing to sit all the way in the back of any class. I remember Alex and José Antonio on each side of me, we would tell jokes and laugh, pass little notes when we were not paying attention to the teacher. There were subjects I liked more than others like English, Music, Art, History, French, Geography, all those were good subjects for me. I was Never very good at Math or Physics!

Then once I finished my formal education, where I never really had to intermingle and blend with the Jewish community during the time when we were being formed in a way through our education and our beliefs, I began to resent and look at all the things I didn't like about my own community. I do remember when we made the decision to leave México behind and move to the United States,  I was happy to leave that community behind, to me they seemed superficial and money driven. Don't take me wrong I'm proud to be Jewish, but to me to be Jewish is just honoring something my Ancestors left me as Traditions. They give more meaning and enrichment to our lives.

With my children's education I wound up doing the same my parents did with me, only I sent them to the Public School in our neighborhood. School was blocks away from home but I still drove them every day and picked them up. We had this little routine going that we'd go across to a darling Deli to eat something or even just get Ice Cream.

I am very lucky in that both my children are very intelligent. My daughter however was the more focused of the two, my son just wanted to play. She'd turn in her homework well done and at the right time and he'd leave it to the very last moment and did just an ok job. I'm sure he could have been helped with today's special education because he is incredibly intelligent, math is a piece of cake for him, he does calculations in his mind that should be done with a calculator but the challenge that he has is his focus, his ability to remain focused for a prolonged periods of time. That's my challenge too so I understand it very well.

Nowadays they pay complete attention to each child and the moment they see there is something stopping them from learning at the same pace as the general student population their age they intervene and call for a meeting of all their teachers to discuss how they can help him/her learn better. Then there are the meetings with the parents of the child to present this program of special education, then if the parents don't speak English they have an interpreter who translates every word the panel is saying and back to the panel what the parent had to say in the form of a comment or a question.

They proceed to do a full evaluation of the student to find the areas of need, back again to the meetings and finally they implement the help in the areas of need.

To me this is very impressive because there are so many resources being used for each and every child in education these days, none of which was the case during my education or at a MUCH smaller scale during my own children's education and that's only 20 yrs. ago.

So it's clear that I have been witness to the many changes that education has experienced in the last 65 yrs. I've been on this earth. And I just covered the bare minimum changes otherwise I could talk about each thing and turn this into a book, but that wasn't my purpose for this entry. I just wanted to illustrate once more that us humans are constantly trying to improve the ways in which to thrive while we are alive, but if I take a peek inside and see the results of the changes vs the way education was given in my days I think I'd chose my days for various reasons.

For one students were a bit intimidated by our teachers. That little bit of intimidation however promoted Respect. I don't remember any of my school classmates ever disrespecting a teacher. If you did they'd send you to the principal right away and our principal, Professor Carrión, was this AMAZING! man from Spain. He was handsome with a deep voice and always a smile on his face. He was adored by everyone, we never wanted Professor Carrión to have to tell us that we were not behaving the way he expected us to behave.

Nowadays the kids do what they want like take out their cell phones and the teacher has to call the parent to tell them to reprimand the child or else and has to give him a few warnings before he takes that phone away that shouldn't be brought to school to begin with.

Nowadays many parents don't know how to handle their children, a lot more children are rebellious, there is a lot more emphasis on special education for each child and perhaps in generations to come we will be able to tell if this was effective, but what I believe is there are too many rules, too much structure, too much focus on the weaknesses, too much one on one education. If I had gotten that type of structure during my education maybe I could have been better and many other things like Math, but I didn't have it and I made it anyways. Only I did by forcing myself to find the strength in my weaknesses and to take full advantage of my strengths.

I use math all the time and I know what I need to know to get by, I would be the worst accountant in the world because I don't like it but I'm considered to be very good at what I do like to do and that's all a human needs to live a fulfilled, happy, productive, creative life.

I think the less the structure the more you have to challenge yourself to learn what you love which in the end is really all you need to know.  I honestly could not tell you how many classes I've taken since I left my formal education so many years ago, anywhere from Photography, ceramics and hundreds of crafts to the Hebrew language that I wanted to learn so bad when I was a child and the reason I believe I was able to focus in what I was learning and not during my childhood education is because I was learning what I love doing.

I am successful at what I do and so are my children whom I gave all the freedom to chose what they wanted to do and how they wanted to learn. It was I the parent who made sure they do their homework and read, that they went to school on time and well dressed, that they were respectful and courteous, that they develop a charming caring personality and the results are there. Two productive caring very successful human beings.

Even how parents raise their children has changed from the totally uninvolved to the other extreme where in both of those cases ends up breaking a child's spirit. It's those who manage to maintain the balance that are more likely to see a better outcome in the lives of their children.

Now I Know my ABCs...

Hugs xoxo

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"Honesty!!! It's such a Lonely Word"...

I think that the main challenge with relationship to honesty is that we all tend to give it a different meaning or view it from a slightly different angle. Perhaps we all do that as a mechanism of defense in a way or to justify something that we may think, do or say that is not 100% truthful and therefore dishonest. I've said this before and I'll repeat it many times, now that I understand it I realize that "Honesty is like Pregnancy, you either are, or you aren't."

Now if what we want is to lie on purpose to cover up something that needs to stay covered or even to be kind to others that's not what I am talking about. I believe we can always justify a little white lie when we know that can ease someone's anxiety or help someone's self esteem.  As with every rule there are valid exceptions.

Let's start with ourselves. I've always been very good at lying to myself or at the very least justifying my thoughts, feelings, actions or lack of them and now that it has become very clear that it was like a habit to do that I am very conscious of never doing it again. It is such a waste of time to be dishonest with oneself, it makes your job at finding harmony and something to be grateful for in your life an uphill battle. When you're open with yourself to the truth of who you have become, that's when you can tweak your thoughts, when you can guide them to stay positive, focused on your goals and dreams and stop using excuses of why your life is not going in the direction you want.

I'll use the example of my childhood, I won't go into details, they will come out some other time, lets just say that I had so many dreams and like everyone else the ability to fulfill them, now I can see that but then I used every excuse in the book to blame everyone else for my failure to pursue those dreams, whatever was happening in my life was the culprit, I must have wanted the perfect conditions to make decisions or moves and since my conditions were never perfect, there were always strong difficult challenges in my family I decided the challenges were at fault not I.

I obviously lied to myself and justified my lies because I was told that's how it was, that's all I saw growing up in a family with major challenges. It wasn't until I was in my 50s and left completely alone to stir my own ship and see what I was capable of doing that I realized if I had not blamed anything or anyone 50 yrs. ago when I had strength, youth, stamina, concentration, talents, by now I would be unstoppable, but I didn't do that I lied to myself so I didn't have to put in the effort perhaps? because I didn't feel capable? so why do I feel capable now? I'm the same me now I was then only now I'm almost 65 and just noticed that nobody and no situation I experienced were guilty of me not fulfilling my dreams then, it was that I wasn't being Honest with Myself. Now I am!

Hugs xoxo

Monday, October 3, 2016

These Are The Best of Times...

I used to have these annoying habits of looking at life and humanity in bad deterioration, I would point that out to my husband every night when he insisted on watching the news. I don't like watching the news I think its not smart to waste time seeing how other people chose to treat each other when I'm trying to stay focused on the things I can do for others. I believe that if I'm not going to be a part of the solution to their problems then even my negative energy when I'm watching that will feed the already negative situation.

I thought for a long time that what us humans have done so far to life has not brought the results it should have with all this knowledge, wealth, globalization, advances in every field known to man, intelligence, technology, people reaching for new limits, spirituality at its peak wouldn't you think we should've gotten the gist of what doesn't work and just stop it, like wars, crime, bigotry, poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy,  illnesses, greed, power even knowledge most of the time. All of these aberrations have escalated maybe not to the maximum because there are an awful lot of good people in the world, but I don't think the good guys are the majority, it's like we all have our own little hidden Angel and our little hidden Devil. I think egoism is at its worst EVER.

So why am I saying that these are The Best of Times is because now we can all clearly see what we have become, we don't just read it in books or newspapers, or pass on the gossip from one to another, now everyone records their own lives, everyone has an audience, the more stupid or wild or even gruesome a video the more viral it goes. Everyone can say anything they want or for that matter become anything that we all want. Anyone can fulfill their dreams there are sites that will walk you through all the way to the completion of your dreams. There are no more excuses for anyone not to be the being that they came here to be.

I don't have my Pineal Gland open, not yet anyways, perhaps I'm just not totally ready for that, maybe I don't need that to know that if our world continues to deteriorate at this rate the bad guys will continue to lure more good guys into their perception of reality.

However as for me I Am Very Grateful for the opportunity to be living in these times because my life took on a different route, I learned so much and became insatiable for knowledge, not because what I know now is not enough but because in the words of 'Abraham' "I would really love to spread the joy and gratitude of who I am. I want to be a catalyst at making more people feel good".

Sometimes when I'm sitting here writing sending my words out into the Universe, I realize that I write to remind my Soul that "These Are The Best of Times"...

Hugs xoxo

Sunday, October 2, 2016

"A Belief is just a Thought That You've Been Thinking"...

The other day I was watching an Abraham/Hicks video and it said something that really caught my attention. I had to listen to it several times so I could write down the exact words they used when describing what a thought is. They said "Whatever you are focusing upon is training you into a habit of thought. That's all a belief is. It's just a habit of thought". I never really gave any thought to what a thought is but when I heard that it made total sense.

For some reason it reminded me of an episode of the "Twilight Zone" I must have watched at least 30 yrs. ago called "Eye of the Beholder" It basically deals with a beautiful girl who thinks she is ugly because she lives surrounded by what we consider to be ugly and she is amongst the few beautiful people around and is trying surgeries to change her face to look like theirs.

What that tells me is that we can be convinced of anything either we think about constantly positive or negative or by what other people tell us consistently that makes us think, so if we are convinced that we are very creative because our mom and dad tell us constantly that we are, our thoughts may be positive because of someone else's view of us, on the other hand if we are told constantly that we are stupid, evil, selfish, lazy our thoughts will go there as well, at the very least we will entertain and then make the decision if we are going to turn those thoughts into beliefs or discard them.

Unlike other species we are thinking animals and we have to be very aware of what our minds are telling us about ourselves and everything else that surrounds us. 

Paul Shepard says in one of his books "Without other living species by which to measure ourselves we would be less mature, care less for and be more careless of all life including our own kind." 

I had a friend once who was a priest, our friendship was rather funny and unique, he would preach his advice to me but yet he would ask for mine as well.

One day I must have been caught up in having to make an important decision so he said to me you are not the thinker, observe the thinker. He said sit down on a sofa and that's the thinker, leave her there and then the real you come out of your body and stand in front of the thinker. Look back at the thinker and ask her what her challenge is, have her tell you everything she is thinking that has her concerned, then like you do with people you love or even strangers, look at her perception without the emotion involved and tell her how you perceive it and why and then merge back and act from that perception.

Well that was a very valuable tool for me to have because ever since that day I look at my life, my situations, my decisions even my emotions straight from that inside view of my life in this spectrum without allowing all those negative emotions that I carried my entire life in my thoughts, when I didn't realize those thoughts were not who I really am.

Now my "Habit of Thought" is simply no resistance. Everything is just as I intended it to be and I'm actively involved in making it better every day. Sky's the Limit!!!

Hugs xoxo

Thursday, September 29, 2016

You Can Call Me Cashew...

I've been called crazy many times, most of them as jokes, "Oh Mom you're a nut" my daughter said jokingly once to which I remember replying "And proud of it my love" and being that Cashews are my FAVORITE type of nuts I added to that "You Can Call Me Cashew, I'm a Fine Nut!"
In fact ten years ago when I started writing this Blog I labeled the area where I describe a little bit about myself as "Call Me Cashew".

I just think I must be a Nut if I'm one of the few that can see the world as different as I do compared to the majority. Everybody can't be a nut so it must be me I thought.

I hear everyone saying that you need to be kind and loving, giving and caring, generous and encourage others. truthful to yourself and to others but if you tell somebody something they don't want to hear or are willing to consider you're probably out of their lives. If you do something for yourself they don't approve of you're out of their lives, if you are giving you are called weak and if you open yourself to receive you are called selfish, if you encourage others you must need something and if you ask for what you need most of the time you'll get denied.

Working in Education with about 15,000 students I've had the opportunity to get to know A LOT of the details that go on in people's lives. I also decided to be "Mary Poppins" this summer that school was out so that opened doors for me to see what goes behind closed doors. I didn't need to confirm that money has nothing to do with certain behaviors and although I'm very fortunate never to have been exposed to physical abuse first hand, there are a lot of well intended people in the world trying to raise the newer generations that in my perception will not get the results they expect.

It's easier to see other people's challenges when you are not emotionally involved or in need to make decisions, so I listen, I observe and somehow I can see what will happen. I've been lucky enough to see a lot of these children that I met once as infants now as adults and what I saw happening so many years back, happened.

I really don't mind being a Nut, I know I do things that others wouldn't consider but if I'm going to take the time to do any of them it will always be to stay balanced and in harmony with this life I'm living with Love and good intentions.

So feel free to "Call Me Cashew!"

Hugs xoxo

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

If I'm Gonna Die, I Wanna Live...

This morning I woke up later than normal because I worked last night, then when I got home, although I had just slept 5 hrs. the night before "The Voice" was on and it's one of my favorite shows, I love talent shows, there's so much talent out there that never seizes to amaze me. Some voices that must come straight from Heaven that even make me cry and talent of all types. It's also incredible how many young children have the talent of adults at such a young age. So of course I stayed up to watch it.

I've been trying to be more conscious of living my life with a different perspective than the one I grew up with and adopted for 60 yrs. only to find out at this age that I had made it more challenging for myself than it was supposed to be.

My logic tells me one thing but my repetitive actions and thoughts for most of my life seem to want to pull me back, so my strategy not to revert to the way I used to perceive my life is to make short term plans of action and try to stay true to my plan for a long enough period of time until it becomes the "New Normal".

I understand that there's always something pending to do, there are times and responsibilities to abide by and from there I have to decide what to tend to next, is it those pending things that can wait for now or is it doing something to bring me Joy, more health, stamina, strength and tools to help others find their joy. That's what I focus on first and then I go complete the other tasks.

I did it the other way around my whole life and the truth is that it didn't work out the way I thought it would. There were many things that I wanted to accomplish and always left those aside. I thought I was supposed to help those I love the most to accomplish their goals and then it would be my turn, my mom modeled it that way to me.

This morning I didn't have all those hours I get when I wake up at 1:30 am but I didn't want to stop living that part that brings me so much joy in the morning such as taking a warm bathtub with Epson Salts and citrus/menthol oils, ginger candles, meditation tapes and lets not forget sitting down to write so that tonight I can come back and re-read what I wrote and feel again that joy that I feel when I'm putting my "Own Oxygen Mask First" and then doing the rest.

The only thing we know for certain in this Life is that we're all going to die, this reality we are living day to day will end one day just like that, nobody really knows when or how, I'm not afraid of dying, I don't know anything about it just what others say but I know it will happen, I just want to do my best not to die with the Music still in me so "If I'm Gonna Die, I Wanna LIVE!!!" while I can and do it with as much Joy and Passion as possible!

Hugs xoxo

Monday, September 26, 2016

Etiology Unknown...

It all started towards the end of 1981 and why I remember this so vividly is because of how it impacted me when I heard those words for the first time. We were already living in Chicago, I remember the year because I turned 30 in that job and that would have been January of 1982.

My boss was a Neuro-Psychiatrist in other words a double boarded Neurologist and also Psychiatrist who practiced both at the same time. His patients had emotional problems but most of them due to major diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis or ALS for example. So he would deal with the physical aspect of their illness and the Psychological crisis they found themselves in once they were given a life sentence diagnosis.

It was only him and I in the office, I was 29, married to a Doctor myself so I knew all these things for years, however I never stopped fearing something like this could happen to me. I was surrounded by it all day long, I took dictation about it, that's all I heard it made me think. What if that was me?

The worst part were the first two words of the dictation I received on all these patients from the doctor so I could transcribe it and put it in their chart as well as send it as a report to their referring physician. The first time he dictated them to me I have to confess I had no idea what they meant so I asked him right away,  I need to understand everything I write so I can do my best transcription job not just that of a parrot.

He would start most of his reports with "Etiology Unknown". You have to understand that he was this older doctor in his 70s who had set a routine for himself he never changed. He would golf on Wednesdays rain sleet or snow didn't stop him, there were always the orange golf balls they were easier to spot on the snow. He was Jewish just like I am so that's why he liked me when he hired me I could tell. It was like helping your own. I did have a lot of experience as a secretary and like I said married to a doctor so that helped of course.

So Dr. Sherman RIP and his routine made him dictate the same things for most of his patients. Etiology Unknown means that they basically don't know what caused their terrible disease they will either have for life or die from sooner than expected.

That got me to think all of these scientists all of these discoveries, all of these chemicals and just for what? to prolong something that is supposed to have no resistance to it, makes no sense to me, chemicals may kill a cancer but they also kill other parts of that body of yours that were not supposed to die. Why would anybody want to prolong their life with chemicals fixing one thing while killing another. What kind of a life is that, is it important to live longer or is it to live the best way we can while we can.

We are totally responsible for our own well being. I have things in this body of mine that all of a sudden began to appear out of nowhere, things I never experienced before including allergies, I have patches of red on my arms, my legs, I had to go to 5 doctors who didn't know what it was until I had it biopsied and it's some autoimmune disease, or in other words "Etiology Unknown" all these top dermatologists were giving me very strong creams and warned me to use sparingly, they would make the spots go and when I'd stop they'd come back, so by remembering those two words I decided to stop all chemicals and went a different route this time.

I went the longer way, the natural way, the way that takes more of your time and dedication, the one that follows the rules of nature because those are the real rules, the rules of man are man made and who says that the man that made that rule is a better one than the one nature created. The one where you have to eat the right things not those that taste better. Be kind to others so you can receive kindness, love and let others love you, give your all to everything you do most of all do what you love.

Now I go to a Naturopathic Doctor who listens to how I feel inside, who prescribes only natural supplements to help heal the damage done, things to detoxify my body from chemicals and metals that now appear in nature thanks to man. I have to pay this out of my pocket of course because Insurance companies will pay for you to get well the man made way not the natural way, if you are a responsible human being trying your hardest to live a good natural life you're on your own! Natural supplements can actually be more expensive than chemicals and you have to take more of them to even out the little pill. So for now I get what I can with what I have and try to take better care of myself in general.

Little by little I've noticed I've started to heal. My joints don't hurt anymore nor do my extremities, I've also started to lose some weight and I'm proud to report that my food intake has gone to a healthy 95% of what I ingest is actually good for me. I found out that my body is sensitive to things I ate my whole life like corn, sugar, dairy, grains, wheat, oat, spelt, peanuts, strawberries, I'm even sensitive to broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, I'm mentioning these because they were all part of my diet, I thought I was eating the right things and in fact I wasn't.

I'm very proud that I took the time to find all this out, then went along with the program and eliminated all of those things from my diet, they added up to 35. Most of them were on my plate every day one or another. I no longer eat breads or pastas (except for Brown Rice or Quinoa Pasta), deserts, no sugar on anything or dairy. There goes my beloved Quesadillas!!!

I had to re-invent the way I ate and what and do that while living in a house with a great cook who loves to prepare delicious meals that he knows I love, who doesn't restrict himself with anything and eats it in front of me. It actually makes him sad to see me restricting myself so much but my determination and control make me feel very good about myself, even though the weight is coming down slowly and after moving to this new apartment I haven't been exercising. I made a new promise to myself. Today I put on a Zumba video and I'm starting an every day 30 min. dance routine. Get that blood pumping and those extra unwanted curves letting go of my body. I want to be at my best so I can give others coming from a better place.

I don't know if I can eventually revert all the damage I might have caused to my body with all the chemicals I ingested over the years, things for cholesterol, osteoporosis, headaches, stomach aches, colds, flus, things doctors tell you you HAVE to take or else you will keep deteriorating. Also with all the things I ate for over 60 yrs. of my life processed food filled with chemicals and who knows what all else is around in everything, including our water.

I was the one who stopped exercising, the one who started to eat all the good things I love, the food that kept me company, broke my boredom, satiated some desire, I was happy with my life so why did I need to feed my body to the point where it became unhealthy and difficult to handle.

I know the energy is there, as is the desire to live a good and healthy lifestyle for as long as my body and my mind stay healthy. Whatever part I can control in having success at a better outcome I may do it at my pace but you better believe that I will go into that Etiology Unknown world and beat it with Love, Dedication, Responsibility and Trust.

Thank you Dr. Janci Karp ND!

Hugs xoxo

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I Have a Dream TOO!!!

My Dream is to bring happiness to as many people as I can. I want to see what makes people happy and help them reach that.

In my work I feel like the "Latino Ellen", I go around the schools and medical clinics getting in my car from one to the other, spending sometimes hours with a student's mom or a patient so I can translate and they can understand what is happening around them. It's scary not to know when you're at the doctor what they are going to do to you and why, or what is wrong with you. You can't even express what you feel. I love my job, I believe I'm doing a lot of good and earning a living with dignity, but I'm just one woman going around all these places to help one person at a time and I can't even buy a house or help my daughter pay her student loans!!!

I want to help MANY!!! That's the beginning of my Dream but it doesn't stop there...

My Dream is that Ellen will read this and decide that I sound like the real deal, like I could be her PERFECT Latino/Senior Citizen Correspondent. That she hires me to work for her out of anywhere she wants me to be, I'll move there trust me. That she believes I can be awesome at finding ways of bringing a lot of happiness to different groups of people I believe can use it the most.

For one I want to go to as many Retirement Homes as I can and get a toy company to donate dolls for this cause. I want to bring elder people a doll for adoption. We will give her/him a name, make a little ceremony and have that be this old person's companion for the rest of their lives. I believe this is a very powerful way to feel as if you're not alone. Just look at the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away and tell me if you didn't cry when Wilson got pulled away by the Ocean.  And he was just a torn up ball.

The other thing I want to do is change the way that older people remain secluded from the rest of the world without any young life around, without any animals around. I believe some of the nursing homes would welcome pets. A few dogs and cats would be the world's best medicine for the elder. There are therapy dogs that we can train to help soothe them and give them company and all the dogs would be rescued from shelters and very loved by so many.

My dad recently passed away and I was not able to see him again, my brother had to bury him alone. My heart shivers when I think of him in this lovely Retirement Center all alone surrounded by strangers just waiting to die for years.

I also believe there could be a combination of Retirement Communities that include a daycare inside. The elders that are able and willing can meet with the parents of these children and see if they can be mentors somehow. Include them as a part of their daily program.

A lot of older people that live in nursing homes have many talents they would still love to use even teach like playing an instrument or playing board games, sewing, knitting, doing crafts. A combination of the right person matched with the right child could work for both and the parents are gifting their child with the love of an older person who still has so much of it to give.

The children are the ones that get the most attention and that's to be understood, but older people don't stop wanting, needing, dreaming, wishing when we get old and our bodies don't want to do what our minds and our hearts still want. And usually there's never anyone around who wants to help an older adult.

And my dream continues with my beloved Latino Community. Although I was raised by all European Jews I was born and lived in Mexico for the first 26 yrs. of my life so  I became part of the culture that surrounded me. I love the traditions adore the food and many of the wonderful artistic creative traits that we get exposed to and raised with.

I have lived in the United States since 1979, I feel proud to have both be a part of my makeup and I want to share the wisdom I've acquired in my journey with the Latino community. There are things I have witnessed in all my years here that I believe could be tweaked in order for the portion of the Latino Community who is struggling to have more success.

So that's my Dream Ellen, I wanna be the Jewish Bobe giving guidance and gifts and hugs as well as represent the Latino Community through the eyes of a grateful foreigner who grew up there and was always welcomed with open arms.

So give me a call Ellen or send me an e-mail at

I'll be ANXIOUSLY waiting!

I Have a Dream TOO!!!

Hugs xoxo

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Boy in the Taco Stand...

I was thinking about this young man I met once and wondering how much of our responsibility is it to try to influence in a positive way a child's mind. Why should we talk to a strange child to see if we can inject some positivity into their lives, "Why Not"!!! is what I Ask, we are out and about most of the day bumping into strangers all day long, there comes this young impressionable person who is out in the world trying to find their way into a strange society filled with hatred and big egos and comparisons and a little bit of joy here and there, if I have two minutes with these children what can I do with that time to boost their confidence or give them some sort of life strategy.

I'll give you an example of thousands. I was living in the BEAUTIFUL city of Querétaro, Qro. Mexico. I had tried to go back to my country of birth to see if I could fit in after being gone for 35 yrs. I tried, I really tried, part of me belonged there but there are so many things about Mexico that don't work that no matter the culture, the food, the charm, the people are no longer as kind and hospitable as they used to be when I grew up there, the prices weren't that much cheaper, except for housing, that was the most attractive part for me, I could live in a lovely house for half the price of a little studio apartment in the US.

So I blended in easily I never left the culture, I work with Latinos it's my job, I did all the things I used to do when I lived there and had a lovely routine. One day a week they had this street mini market that served dinner to the locals, they put carps, long tables, metal folding chairs, maybe donated by one of the Beer Companies, as were the tables and the local ladies or guys who were cooks at home made these delicious home made meals and took them there to sell them to the locals and I loved going there for dinner once a week.

I would normally sit all by myself and people watch. I'd eat 3 tacos or quesadillas with a lot of salsa and maybe flan for desert. This one night it was the day before Mother's Day. Three teenagers sat by me and said hi, they were polite lovely kids and I had two minutes with them so I decided to start a conversation by asking "so are you guys ready for Mother's Day tomorrow"? Two of them said yes and the one next to me said I'm not, I still don't know what to get my mom and I don't have much money. So you can imagine that was my cue. That's what I could gift them with, just a strong weapon to last them a lifetime and bring joy into their lives.

I asked him "Would you like me to give you a suggestion coming from the Mom side of me of something that would not cost you a penny and would bring her the most joy"? Yes of course he answered as did his brother and sister although they already had bought her a gift. It intrigued them what that could be.

So first to validate my suggestion I told him I have two children, so I know what it feels like to receive just a gift vs receiving a letter or at best a letter with a gift. First the letter because for a mom the words put together with an action of love and kindness is all that we will ever need. Just a validation that we are doing a good job and that you are aware of it and appreciating it.

Then there's the gift, the gift if you are able to find a way of getting her one, which you should because you can do a chore for someone and get paid just to buy her a small token. The best for a mom is something she can keep to remind her of that moment. Like say a frame with a picture you chose and print, that doesn't cost much, maybe $10 the whole thing and you wrap it and give it to her with a love letter you're set for life :)

The young man next to me who didn't have a gift for her yet said all excited and nervous at the same time "I have $10 dlls and I have pictures on my phone of myself and my mom I can get her that, but I don't know how to write her a letter". Tell me all about your mom I said, describe her to me, tell me what you guys do together, what you do as a family tell me all you want.

He began to tell me a brief story of their family, their interaction, their vacations, their fun, the hardship and once he felt he had summarized it I said take a paper and a pen and write everything you just described to me, make it as long as you want but say as much as you can and with as much description as what you just gave to me,  write as if you're talking to her, it took you about 5 mins. to cover a lot of ground that when you put it down on paper it stays there forever.

You give a letter like that to your mom or to anyone you want to describe your feelings your emotions your love and you gift that to your mom and then you show her how she makes you feel with your actions, that's all a mom ever needs and wants.

I said good night and went to the taco lady to pay and asked to pay for them too. It was just a little gesture of love, I'm sure they felt it when they asked for the check and she said it's covered ;)

I will never forget the Boy in the Taco Stand...

Hugs xoxo


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"I Wanna Be the Being that I was Born to Be"...~ Abraham/Hicks

As I've mentioned before I have my routine, one that I was finally able to create and follow along with it, there have been so many interruptions in my intentions that cause me to lose focus or at least to divert from it for a bit. I like what being able to focus does to me so I managed to create an environment that is suitable and conducive to creativity.

I don't know why I grew up thinking that I wasn't creative and the worst part is not that I thought I wasn't but I acted on what I thought so I didn't allow myself much room to discover it. I think it all came clear to me when I saw myself through my children's eyes, they were my best critics, they say it like it is and that helps me get a different perspective of my abilities.

One of the things I do for example is the moment I open my eyes my mind and my actions are all being focused on my intention for the day, first for the early morning when my husband is still at home getting ready to leave, I focus on very different things when I'm around him than when I'm not.

He is amazing at doing things fast, so when he is here I do all the picking up, organizing and tidying up that I'm able because he helps me and the two of us do it in 1/10th of the time it takes me to do it all by myself.

Once he leaves I prepare everything I will need for work, set my alarm to let me know an hour before my appointment, I open the bathtub to very hot water so it gets to be room temperature once I'm done writing.

I write for as long as it takes me to put down the thoughts and emotions that might be lurking around in my mind as in needing to come out for some reason. I notice that every time I upload the final picture that ties into the story I just wrote about my heart beats faster, I get a rush of adrenaline as if I had run for miles and was in shape. I suppose that must be what it feels like for someone to do something more physically daring. For me being honest with myself, being accountable for my actions and honoring my emotions is just as daring.

I do many things all day, these are just a few samples of the changes I've made in my life to give myself better outcomes, so maybe those who care about me and those I might be able to help can also benefit from whatever it is that's my purpose in this journey.

I just read the Daily Inspiration that I receive from Alan Cohen, he calls it "Wisdom for Today" and it said: "If you don't do something different, today will be like all the other days." ~ Alan Cohen I love the way he says things, clear and to the point.

Abraham/Hicks were right when they said "I Wanna Be the Being that I was Born to Be"...

Hugs xoxo

Monday, September 19, 2016

Find Me...

I started writing this blog back in December of 2007. Throughout my whole life I have always written journals, diaries, stories, poems, kept scrapbooks, yearbooks, took pictures, videos, collected pictures of my ancestors that my mom and my grandmother had, made very elaborate albums for my parents, my children and kept a dairy of something interesting they did every day for the first 13 yrs. of their lives.

I know this sounds crazy and I'm sure the different reasons that motivated me to do all these things were right for me at the time. One thing I do know is that I love doing all these things when I have the time, energy and the clear mind because to this day I still do all of that, but I also have this hunch that the real reason why I've always like doing these things is yet to come forth in my life.

The blog was different than all the rest of the things I've started and stopped. Although I wasn't as consistent in writing on my blog as I intended from the start, I've managed to keep a lot of the things that come to my mind and I just find the need to write them down as they flow through me uncontrollably.

At first my motivation for starting were four different things, one to be the witness to my own adventure since I was alone for the first time in my life, it was like a bomb exploded in my MicroUniverse and I had to start from scratch and I had nobody watching my re-birth so I decided to write about it so I would go back and check my progress after a while. That still works for me, that still motivates me, because I am my most avid reader, I love to see how my trajectory of the past 10 years has brought me back to a good place in my life, only now with so much more wisdom, serenity, patience, faith and most of all Happiness.

The second motivation was to send out to the Universe all my unfulfilled dreams and desires and to celebrate each one as it happened. That too has always served me well, whatever I have asked the Universe so far I've got and then-some.

My third motivation was to talk about the way I perceive and handle my life, I talk about anything and everything so that when I'm no longer around and my children ever wonder what I think about something specific or how I handled a challenge in my life all they have to do is read my entries, it's all there, they might find something that can help them in their lives.

The fourth was to find a life partner. I opened myself to the possibility that he was out there also looking for me and I sent my vibrations through my writings, my photographs and most of all my emotions.

My first cover picture was one that I took at Del Mar Beach in Del Mar, CA. I was taking a walk at the beach with a friend and asked him to stop for a moment. I grabbed a long stick and brushed flat the powdered sand so I could have a good size surface to write something with that long stick. I wrote the words FIND ME! and then took a step back and took a picture of it with my writings in mind.
I got home and found out that Google had a place where I could create a Blog for free and keep everything that I write in one spot, the thought of keeping my writings all in one place was very attractive, so I picked a design, uploaded the photo I had taken at the beach that morning, gave it the name that described me the best "Parallel Parked in a Perpendicular World" that's how I have always felt and I wrote what came to my mind at the time. It's been 10 years since then and I haven't stopped.

Now that I have been able to accomplish so many of the dreams I started with I'm going to focus on asking the Universe to FIND ME! again, only this time I want the right circumstances to be able to fulfill the dreams I still have of helping others.

So once again but this time with different views, wisdom, desires and intentions... FIND ME!!!

Hugs xoxo

A Long Time Ago in a Far Away Land...

Today the protagonist of my story will be Bobe Etko. She was my maternal grandmother RIP and it's only now at this age the I can understand how amazing a woman she was and with how much dignity and integrity she lived her life. I don't remember her being all lovey dovey at least not with me, my older brother was her favorite grandson and with good reason, he was her first grandchild and on top of that it was her only daughter's son, I didn't come around for another 2-1/2 yrs. and I was the second grandchild, so she had a whole 2 1/2 yrs. to interact with my brother before I got here.

Even though I don't remember her being that demonstrative I remember how well she managed her life and helped her two kids, my mom and her son Juan.

My mom made it her mission in life to take care of all her family while they were alive and once they were gone someone else would take their place in her mission to take care of whomever needed her care until the day she died. Her mom was no exception, if she needed her help at the store she had there she was, if she needed help at home my mom ran to help her out and when she was in her deathbed it was my mom who cared for her until her life quietly left her hard working somewhat lonesome life.

My grandfather had passed away in his early 50s, she had to be the one to continue on with the store to finish raising her two kids and once they each went off into their own lives, she continued to help them, I remember her giving her son some money for a downpayment for his apartment. He was a doctor and his wife an interpreter and yet it was Bobe Etko who had to come and help them out with a downpayment.

She also managed to maintain a group of girlfriends that she frequented every week. They played cards or went to movies and they traveled extensively all over the world as a group. She went on trains and planes and even cruises. I always admired how well she dressed, how she maintained a good figure, I never saw her have to lose a pound a day in her life. She had very good taste and she would match her outfit with her jewelry, if the silk knit suit she was wearing was turquoise she would wear turquoise to match, so she had a good selection to go with everything she had.

Her hair became white at a very early age but she would go to the hair salon once a week to get her hair coiffed and her nails done, even in her deathbed when she had to be on oxygen because the one nasty thing she did most of her life was smoke cigarettes, even there she asked for her hairdresser to come and fix her hair and nails, She died of emphysema, as did my mom, same reason around the same age.

Her beginnings were nice, she had many brothers and sisters, a religious father and a stay at home mom who had many children to raise. Her grandparents were around them too, all religious family, I remember one of her grandmothers, Ita was her name, she was this tiny little white haired lady with a hump on her back, I saw pictures of her, she passed away as I was being born.

I don't remember how many they were, my mom told me many times but it's one of those things I forgot, she was born in Poland back around the 1910s, I actually have her passport somewhere that I'll recover one of these days.

Between her who was the youngest child and her oldest brother José aka El Tío Pelón there were 20 yrs. difference. I kept her passport after my mom passed away. My mom always kept everything she could of all those she loved who left her behind to endure life that in all sincerity was a very difficult life.

Bobe Etko came to America when she was 15 yrs. old. Seide Pépe (her husband and my beloved grandfather RIP) came first. The story goes that they were girlfriend and boyfriend in the town of Mlawah, Poland. Bobe used to work at this factory that produced grenades. I still have a hard time believing that but why would she say that if it wasn't true. Seide was enrolled in the armed forces in Poland, I'm sure it was mandatory at his age especially in those years of Pogroms and anti-semitism and who knows what other turmoil there was. He was a cavalry soldier and one day on this mission he was carrying his nephew who was a little boy, they were hiding in trenches from the enemy whomever that was at the time, in one of these humid trenches full of mold he contracted typhoid fever. This was the start of what eventually would kill him, it weakened his heart and he had heart problems until he died from them in his early 50s.

Seide was also a tailor, that's how he earned his money, so once he was feeling better physically he decided to leave Poland to find a better life for him and his wife to be. Even though they were very young that was a normal age to be in a relationship at that time.

He took his suitcase and got on a ship with his brother and they went off. The ship landed in Veracruz, Mexico, a lovely port. My mom used to tell me how when he got there without speaking the language or any money for that matter he would sell sox on the street and then use the money to buy fabric to make a coat or a dress or anything he could sell for more to invest and create more to live off and save to bring Bobe from Poland to start a life with him.

I'm not sure how long it took him but it wasn't too long, perhaps a year, so Bobe Etko got on the ship from Poland to be with Seide and when she got to the port of Veracruz the captain wouldn't let her off the ship because she was a minor. So they tell me that Seide got on the ship and asked the Captain to marry them.

I remember the picture they had of that wedding, she was so beautiful and young, leaning against Seide who was an incredible handsome man. She had this little bouquet of flowers that she kept because they were made out of silk and covered in wax. It's hard to describe but they were really beautiful. I remember she also kept the little dolls that were on top of the cake. They were so well made, their little faces were made on a little circular bead hand painted with these huge eyes and they were each standing on top of a little heart. I kept those too, who knows where they are now, I feel one day I will recover all those little things that were so important to my mom who asked me to keep them and my life has taken me to so many places that I lost track of all those wonderful mementos that mean so much.

Bobe and Seide eventually moved to Mexico City, they lived downtown, they started a women's clothing store in the heart of downtown, Creaciones Estela on the corner of the Streets of Tacuba and Motolinia, it was small but it was successful with her customers and the people who walked by.

She had beautiful dresses, coats, suits, scarfs, blouses, sweaters even gloves. At the beginning some of the things they sold were Seide's own creations then they started buying from factories. I kept the little coats Seide made for me when I was an infant, I had two huge dolls that used all my outfits he made me, not to mention the dresses my mom knitted. She even knitted some slippers for my Barbies, I can't imagine how she did that.

Some of my fondest memories are from that store. I used to accompany my mom when she went to help Bobe. I loved arranging the window displays, folding the clothes, selling to the ladies, grandma didn't let me do that too much, perhaps she should have, as a little girl I could have convinced the ladies to buy more. But what I loved the most about going to the store was taking my lunch pail, there were these stackable metal small pots covered with porcelain and held by two long metal rods on the sides that created a handle on top.

I would go to a restaurant a block away by the name of Café Tacuba. It was popular then but nothing like the popularity that it has now, over the years they even used the name for a popular singing group. I'd buy the menu of the day, it was the surprise of what it was that I loved the most, I could find things like Sopa de Tortilla, Chile Relleno, Mole con Pollo, Arroz,  Frijoles Refritos, Caldo Tlalpeño, Puntas de Filete a la Mexicana,  Enchiladas,  Camarónes al Mojo de Ajo, you name it, I loved it all, it was the Mexican food I grew up with and loved eating every day of my life, I still do funny enough. And then for dessert there was flan, or caramel pudding, churros con chocolate, ate con queso, pastel de 7 leches, crepas de cajeta, buñuelos, tamales dulces, chongos zamoranos....

Later on things changed, like life always does, Bobe had to close the store because the city decided to build a Metro stop right there in that very spot so the store that gave here the ability to live a good life and feel the freedom of being a self sufficient woman in a country that took her in when she was still just a child was now gone.

From that point on Bobe was never the same, she had lost very precious members of her family. She had to watch her son die in his 40s from a terrible type of skin cancer and also had to watch my younger brother die, no Bobe should have to experience that much pain in her life.

I'm so grateful that I had these people and these experiences in my life, that I come from their genes and their incredible strength, kindness, perseverance, powerful dignity and commitment to life and family. Those are the values that I hope to maintain, the ones that in my own way I tried to pass on to my children, the ones that comes from A Long Time Ago in a Far Away Land...

Hugs xoxo


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Google Maps...

When I first moved to this country back in 1979, when I was still in my 20s and starting a life from scratch, maybe even from debt, the first thing my husband and I bought was a AAA Club Membership. We felt safe having their protection, they handled everything from our trips to our Insurance to the guidance of where we are, where we want to go, what to find when we get there, how much will it cost, what rating it had.

I love Maps, always have for some odd reason, maybe because I love traveling and knowing where I am. When I have moved to many cities around the world every time I get there first I feel so lost, it is maps that help me find my way around and start to feel at home instead of in a foreign land.

Now there's the Internet, there's smart phone and GPS and my good friend and companion all day long GOOGLE MAPS!!! I don't think either my husband or I would have been able to adapt so quickly to our new surroundings first in San Diego, then all across the country to the other border, then finding our way around town, where to buy a car, where to park. We owe Google Maps our peace of mind that when we get in the car and are supposed to go wherever we have never gone before, Google Maps will illuminate our path and guide us right to the door that's going to be on your right side ;)

So I wanted to thank everyone at Google Maps and became proactive on paying back with what I know how to do, write and photograph. I post reviews, all around wherever I go I take pictures and post them on google maps to let people see what to expect when they get there. I tell them a little story of my experience there and how I feel about the place. My ratings are 99% for true excellence, I appreciate those who do their job with pride, although I have done a couple that truly disappointed us at all levels, I believe people need to remain accountable of their actions.

When I first started giving reviews and uploading pictures I had no idea they keep track and give you points and allow you to climb up the ladder, I'm up to Guide Level  #3. I thought that was a nice incentive to keep on people like me who like giving reviews and sharing photos to continue to climb up the ladder. It goes very slow but I'm not going anywhere I love finding something where I can help with what I love to do, give good reviews and take pictures of places and share them with anyone. I started 2 weeks ago and a week ago I get this e-mail direct from Google Maps congratulating me for having 1000 views on my pictures. It made me think wow, look 1000 people came to my gallery on opening night that's pretty darn wonderful. Well now this week I've passed 11,000, that's a growth of what percentage? I'm not mathematical  here but seems to me to be A LOT!! can you imagine what it will be years from now I'll become the talk of the town hahaha!!!

I love sharing what I like to do, what makes me happy and that all has to do with my inspiration to create something, whether it's writing, photography or some craft I get into all the time.

So this is a personal thank you first to the AAA Club, I'm still a loyal member since 1979 and now to Google Maps for holding our hand and not letting us get lost and just trust :)

Hugs xoxo

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Kodak Moment...

I was riding with my husband a few days ago, I take him to work mostly Mondays and Tuesdays because he starts work at 4:00 am and there is no public transportation at that time, so we make it a very enjoyable trip and we have practically the whole city to ourselves, the streets are very quiet at that time as you know, it's like flying on a Magic Carpet and viewing every Kodak Moment in all it's splendor.

I snapped a few shots right from the bridge, it's almost as if I'm on a Disney ride high up on this massive bridge trying to capture that Kodak Moment!!! I have better shots than this one, but this one conveys the emotion I was feeling at the moment the best.

I'm a photographer at heart because I try to capture the emotion I was feeling at the moment I saw what my camera captured. Then when I look back at the photos I can clearly remember the emotion.

I share some of my photos on Google Maps as a Guide and I love to see the numbers rise from people who might have decided to go to a place that I might have rated as excellent! I just love recommending all the wonderful people who do great jobs for others and who have pride in their work.

Off to shoot more Kodak Moments...

Hugs xoxo

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Even When Nobody is Watching...

There are so many things that we do when nobody is watching, some are normal and make sense like going to the bathroom. There are others I also love, like dancing, laughing, singing and pulling at my lower lip that always gets dry with the changes of seasons. That's unsightly so I do it in private, like flossing my teeth.

Now there are other things us humans do when nobody is watching and not many of them are as normal or as standard as those I just described. So what happens when you commit a crime when nobody is watching? or rob someone or something that belongs to someone who will then experience pain because of the decision that you made when nobody was watching.

When my husband and I first moved to San Diego, CA it was the first time in his life he had entered the United States of America and he was already 50 yrs. old. He had traveled to Asia and Europe extensively but just never to the United States. He had lived in various countries as well but this was a totally new experience for him at all levels.

I remember taking him to Old Town, one of my favorite places anywhere in the World, it's just these few blocks that contain parts of the past when California belonged to Mexico. It reminds me of how amazing it is that two neighbors both so rich with so much abundance in their countries and their people, have such different cultural standards and values and its just right there across the street.

In Old Town he had to go to the restroom so we walked to this lovely small Hotel I know. When he came out the first thing he told me, "If I were back in Mexico where he spent the last 25 yrs. of his life and someone went into that bathroom that has extra toilet paper rolls and towels and hand cream, it wouldn't last an hour before someone would put all that into their purse and take it home". I couldn't help but laugh at his comment especially because I knew he was right about that, not everyone is a thief but it's like one does it so the other one gives himself permission to do things that are not right When Nobody is Watching...

Somebody is ALWAYS watching it's you, it's what you are planting it's what you will pick up in the end when it's all said and done, it's how you will carry yourself through the day with pride, it's how you can look at yourself in the mirror and smile.

I pick up garbage on the streets and when I had dogs I would pick up after other dogs because I wanted it clean and it wasn't. I recycle all I can and smile at those who frown. I walk a step back when I'm waiting for the elevator and someone else is coming out, I don't just stand there and stare as if why are you in my elevator when I want to get in.

I wipe the sink in public restrooms as well as the seat because I like finding it that way too. I post a little sticky note that says "Smile you Know You Want to" because it makes me smile to think of the one who is going to read that, maybe it'll make them smile too. I leave the bathroom tender a tip even when she had to leave the bathroom and only her little plate was there. I do this When Nobody is Watching because I Am Watching and I want my life to be the way I mold it for myself. Even When Nobody is Watching...

Hugs xoxo

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Staying in My Comfortable Shoes...

Our conversation early this morning had to do with our relationship with others and how they each impact in our level of harmony and ultimately happiness. We both have different views on it yet we're both looking for the same end result.

I used to be the worst offender when it came to human relationships, I was always kind, that I got from my precious mother and my two grandfathers whom I only knew for a few short years but who left me with the best legacy in human kindness. But I also had the influence of other people in my life who were not as positive nor did they have a strong level of human emotion, non that they would show to the outside world. I learned things from them too as a child, how to be selfish and judgmental, for a long time I thought nothing of it as if it was a normal trait of humans to all be critical of each other.

I'm a different human being now than those two contrasting traits I grew up with, I learned not to judge but it wasn't intentional. I learned it because I was judged and when that happened I didn't like it AT ALL, so I had to see how it felt until I could look at another and no matter what not judge them unless I am willing to wear their shoes and to tell you the truth mine are very comfortable and it's not that easy for me to find comfortable shoes.

So back to our morning talk, my husband tells me he just wants me to be happy so what he does so I can "Be Happy" is to point out all the wrong things he believes other people do to me so I don't give them my attention, as if I'm supposed to be blind and not see what others do. "I just want you to be happy" he says, "But I AM Happy don't you see? I will never ever be able to control the behavior of others towards me, I can only control my behavior and my emotions. If I accept any person in my life it will only be if I am able to love them unconditionally, otherwise people come and go from your life you chose who you keep around."

I want to have the best possible relationship with those I love and care about and the only way that can be is by being unconditional about it, I derive my joy out of my giving or my ability to help others see the good in themselves. I feel happiness when I see them happy!

I think I'm staying on my path and in my shoes, they are quite comfortable...

Hugs xoxo

Monday, September 12, 2016

It's not so Bad at 65...

This is just my attempt at trying to remind myself that it's not as bad at 65 as your body sometimes makes you feel. The challenge I face is that as far as my mind and I am concerned we are ageless, I don't feel age, but my body does, it seems to believe that we are separate because I can't identify with the things my body does, like what do you mean I have to pee again, I just peed 5 mins. ago. What do you mean you want to fall asleep you just woke up.

I think in all honesty if it were up to me I'd go pay attention to my body and get some more rest, it must know what it needs, but it's not up to me it's kind of up to my husband who is like a dictator when it comes to our time.

We love being together, spending time doing things, I get pumped when I'm around him so he pushes me to get up and keep on moving, he tells me you make your own energy as you go along just keep moving, you will have forever to sleep when you die, now you have to keep on moving so around him I do you see, it's when he leaves, when I stay in my castle alone where I can eat, sleep, write, listen to music, meditate, think or allow myself to stop thinking I envision a lot, I'm getting great at that if I may say so myself.

So what's wrong with getting in the tub with bubbles and epson salts with essence of lemon, some soothing music, candles and my game of Candy Crush in case I get bored, lets not forget the cup of espresso and probably some cut up fruit, its peaches and plumbs today. Taking blueberries to work.

Today is another Magical Day, my body feels tired, if it were up to it I'd lay down and get some rest, but I have appointments to interpret all day, then there's my stepson's mattress that's arriving today, today I make my son's bed for the first time in many years, he doesn't even have a clue of what his room looks like, he's been sleeping in a rented room and sleeping on a mattress on the floor for years, so he's going to come here to this master bedroom suite with its own en-suite and walk-in closet with a roll top desk in a lovely neighborhood where you can walk to school, to transportation, to restaurants, to theaters, even to a river just two blocks away.

It's not so bad at 65 when you can still feel the desire to help others and when the desire has become your predominant thought and reason for being. It's others that make us, we are nothing on our own.

It's not so bad at 65, you've learned so much and you still have time for a do-over, to be someone's mother again, to be someone's grandmother and wife and daughter in law. My life goal and biggest dream is to bring us all together.

It's not so bad at 65 when you can start collecting some Social Security and Medicare, when you go to the stores or you get services and start getting discounts, when you go to the movies and pay like a kid again.

When you can still get stylish eyeglasses that you can see out of better and they make you look cool. When you can get a manicure and pedicure every month, and treat your body without chemicals, that's a whole other subject I'll write about but lets just say if our body says we gotta go, we are nature, so lets leave it to natural supplements to heal ourselves if we can, if not let go with dignity instead of fighting it with chemicals.

It's not so bad at 65, but I better get going to pee one last time, I gotta leave in 1/2 hr. no time to waste...

Hugs xoxo