Sunday, November 29, 2009

Missing Posts

I don't know what is going on with my blog. As you know, I post every single day. I don't know where my posts are! I post. They show up for a few hours. Maybe a day. Then they disappear. I have been trying all kinds of things. I hope this actually posts!!!

When I go to edit the posts, it shows them as being posted. I can see them posted. But when I try to look at my blog from another computer, it doesn't work. :( I am working on it. Let's see what happens. I have all of my posts saved as word documents. I hope I don't have to repost everything! That is a lot of blog posts. I started this in July!

Let me know if you can see my entire blog. All of my posts. Oh, and if you want to follow me on twitter, just send me a request. I have gotten a lot of questions about that. I hope you have a great week!!!



Friday, November 27, 2009

Craft Sadness

Every year, since it began, my mom and I have had 2 tables at our church Craft Fair. When it first started, there were not many people that participated. But we wanted to support our church. That was in 2000. It is one of the larger fundraisers that they do. You can get a table for $20. And you can sell anything but food. That is because the church sells breakfast and lunch. Really good food! But you can sell baked goods.

We take all of our crafts. Everything ranging from sewing to crochet. And everything in between! And we take a HUGE spread of baked goods. The money we make from the baked goods and candy, we donate back to the church. Just a little "Thank You."

Since 2001, I have made the 3 hour drive north. Sometimes, just for the day! But we want to support our church. We belong to a really good church. And everyone is like family. My mom and I don't do it to make money. If we make money, great. If not, we still helped the church. We never care where our tables are located. We have been everywhere from the front to right next to the door, in a corner! This is the only Craft Fair that we participate in. Some years, they have had 3 (Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.) Other years, there is just the Holiday Craft Fair. It just depends.

A while back, my mom got the information in the mail. And called right away. They were already out of tables! We couldn't believe it. Although, we don't count on the Craft Fair to make money, we really enjoy going. You get to meet new people. You see people that you haven't seen in months. The food is amazing. And I just enjoy seeing people happy when they buy something from us.

But after making crafts all year, this will be the first time we are not in the Craft Fair. One of the ladies from church, was really upset. My mom and her got to talking about a week ago. In fact, many people had been asking about us. Wanting to buy some crafts. Because we honestly don't sell our items for a lot of money. Sometimes, we just cover our supply cost. Patsy was so upset because we didn't get a table. She told us, that she didn't understand why they wouldn't set our 2 tables aside. We are the only people that participate in every Craft Fair. I'm not sure. But it got us thinking.

I heard on the radio, while stuck in traffic, that there was going to be a Craft Fair at a local school. It is 6 days later. And if all these people were counting on our crafts, why not try a new place. It doesn't hurt to expand, right? My mom called the number tonight. But we have to wait until Monday. If I am not mistaken, the tables are slightly cheaper. :)

This has also made me think, I need to open up an Etsy shop. I have been debating that for about 3 years. But it would give people a place to find us. I know my mom's Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are so popular. And we are always being contacted to make Baptismo outfits. I need to open a shop already!



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! There is so much to be Thankful for. For the most part, I have my health. I also have a wonderful family, that I get to come home to. We are able to go and buy food to eat. And we have a roof over our heads. With heat. Things that I don't always have in my own home. I have learned that there is so much to be grateful for! Things that I took for granted as a kid; food, heat, and having money.

But never in my life have I lacked for love. Maybe there were times when I would have traded someone else's love, for a bit more from my parents. But I have never been someone who has lacked in love. My Auntie Chuchie taught me so much as a kid. Much more than I have probably ever learned from another single person. About love, kindness, and giving. Not once did she ever turn you away, or was stingy with anything. Especially food.

On this day especially, I miss her. I miss my Uncle Al. I miss my grandma. But I also realize that these are the people that have shaped the woman that I am. Those experiences with them. The love they shared with me. I will forever be grateful for them. To this day, I find myself remembering the silly things we did together.

Thanksgiving is much more than a turkey and mashed potatoes. Even more than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Much more than the pumpkin pie. It is about family and friends. About honoring old traditions and making new ones. It is a time to celebrate your family, and show each other how much you love one another. And although I will only see a very small amount of my family today, they are all in my hearts! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Our Plan for the Day

I have been up for hours. I have 3 loafs of pumpkin bread in the oven. And Tom the Turkey is ready to go into the oven next. He is sitting on the counter. All stuffed with yummy veggies, herbs, and citrus. I also used 2 sticks of butter with tons of seasoning. Tom got a butter massage. :)

My mom and I baked pies last night. Oh, and we had to go to the store for some grocery shopping. The grocery store was a bit crazy! And we had to go to 4 stores to find a ham. It was kind of funny. To be honest, I would rather eat ham than turkey for Thanksgiving. But we cook both. All the running around last night, will pay off today when we get to eat.

Actually, we usually cook a ton and a half of food. But this year, my parents and I had planned to go to the mountains. They have property across the road from my grandparents. We were going to go spend the holiday out there. My grandparents are moving to my hometown in the Spring. This would be our last holiday together out there. But a HUGE snow storm is supposed to be on the way. And I have to be back at work this weekend. Total drive from the mountains to where I work, 6 hours. Not considering the snow. My mom thought it would be better to stay home. Their home. Still a 4 hour drive to work. Mostly through the desert though.

We usually have all our family over. But our plans changed last minute. Like Tuesday night. We are only expecting 40 people or so. My older twin brothers, one of their wives, and a few of my nieces and nephews. The rest are friends. And we don't expect everyone at once. But we are cooking a turkey and a ham. It will be more than enough. I can barely pick up either of them. I think we got the biggest turkey at the meat market!

Another big difference this year, I am not baking bread. I always make bread. My grandma gave me her recipe about 15 years ago. Since I was really little, we would bake together. Then as I got older, I became the baker. But this year, well there was no time. And honestly, I am wiped out from school and work. We bought a bunch of the crescent rolls in a can. I can almost guarantee, no one will notice! OK, maybe the trash can will. I have 10 tubes to bake!

I should get back to my cooking. My dad already left for the office. To do, who knows what. My mom is still sleeping. And my pumpkin bread has 10 more minutes in the oven. Maybe I can take a quick nap. I only slept for an hour and a half last night!

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writer's Block

I don't know if I have blogged about this. But I write for a newspaper. A local newspaper. In a city that is 4 hours north of where I live. The way I landed this job is really funny. But I pretty much owe it all to a good friend of mine. He encouraged me to write. I love to write. And that is an understatement! I probably should be studying that instead of medicine. But you know how that goes. Anyway, after reading some short stories that I was writing, and an article that I wrote for a local magazine, he talked to his dad. Who talked to my editor. Long story short, I landed the job!

I am in college. A medical student to be exact. And I do whatever I can to make money. I don't want to go into debt for my education. So I do whatever I can to pay for school. That includes writing for this newspaper. I write under a pen name. It's like the Chicana's version of "Sex and the City." Minus all the sex, but a 20 something year old's view on life. OK, there is a little sex talk too! I write about traditions, current events, generation gaps, etc. Topics that are central to the area and our cultura.

My column, is usually about whatever topic happens to pop into my head. Once in a while, my editor will give me a topic to write about. Like if there is something in the news. Or a specific event going on. Then sometimes, I have no ideas. I will ask my friends. Pick the brains of anyone I come into contact with. But I am beginning to not have any ideas left. And I don't know what to do.

What kind of things do you like to read about? Are you a serious newspaper reader like me? I read at least 3 different newspapers every single day! It's almost a little ridiculous. But I enjoy it. From a daily article standpoint, what is something you would like to see? I have noticed that my readers, really enjoy when I share recipes with them. I have only done this a handful of times. I might have to resort to that, until I come up with some more ideas. I also had a really good response to an article I wrote about life as a single 20 something. I called it, "Alone, Broke, and Climbing the Ladder."

I guess I am just out of ideas. I have been working so much, that my life seems a little boring to me. 100+ hours a week, at a hospital, does that to a gal! But I want to write some good stuff right now. With the upcoming holidays and such. I just think it would be nice. I want to write an article on my Tia and the amazing impact she had on my life. But I don't know how personal to get. Obviously, my readers don't know my name. But how much detail do I want to add.

My editor is really good about giving me so many freedoms. I write 10 articles, then send them in. So it is a tough couple of days, every 2 weeks or so. But that's not too bad. When there is less content in the paper, he prints longer articles of mine. Some days, I get to ramble on quite a bit! And after 4 years, I really enjoy this part of my life.

If you have any suggestions, please e-mail me. Or comment below. I just need some new ideas. Something more than my struggle in trying to live a balanced life. Which I am losing right now! I just need some fresh, new ideas.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Learning to Smile

I'm one of those women, that was raised to not let people know when things were bad. I was told to smile and go on. I never got the chance to mourn the loss of loved ones. I never was able to just cry. Or to feel bad. When my world was crumbling down, I was told to smile. To put a smile on my face and to "Keep on truckin'." And that's what I did.

One of the things that I remember more than anything else, was when my dad would spank me. Then if I were to cry, he would tell me, "Do you want me to give you something to cry about? If not, stop crying and put a smile on that face." I was raised "old school." I was not a bad kid. But I knew, if I stepped out of line, I was going to get it. We had a wooden paddle. And I knew, if I was bad, I would get spanked.

I never feared being spanked. I just hated the fact that I was supposed to pretend to be happy. Even when I wasn't. I HATED that! To no end, I really hated that! But I have to say, I grew up a good kid. My parents didn't just expect straight A's, they demanded them. Because that was my job. To go to school and get A's.

I never had a curfew. We really didn't have rules. Most of my friends were older than I was. My best friend, Enzo, is a 3 years older than me. As an adult, that is nothing. But as kids, it was centuries. I was never the teenager that got drunk, or was a rebel. I was the one that helped out. I took care of nieces and nephews. I helped my grandma. Worked in our office. And did what needed to be done.

Years later, I still suffer from this. And yes, I said suffer. There are days when the bottom completely falls out from under me. Completely! I am in free fall. But I sit here with a smile on my face telling people I'm good. Inside, I am struggling just to breath. Willing the tears to go deep inside of me. Trying to make it through my day.

Then one day, I just lost it. I fell completely apart. It was ironic, I was in my family counseling professor's office. He just let me cry and talk. For hours and hours. My poor professor. He thought I was going to ask him about our upcoming final. Instead, everything just came pouring out from my soul.

He helped me to find a counselor. Someone I could talk to, multiple times a week, for years. I was diagnosed as not just clinically depressed. But severely, clinically depressed. The worst that you could get. I was put on anti-depressants and went to counseling. And for the most part, I was feeling better. I could deal with emotions. Instead of bottling them all up. I finally had someone I could talk to. And I tried. I pushed forward.

Then I started to feel the financial pinch. I was struggling to pay for basics, like toilet paper and bread. I stopped going to counseling. But I tried to pay for my anti-depressants. Then I went from taking the correct doses, to maybe every other day. To only taking them when I was having a really bad day. To not taking them at all. The bottom really fell out then. I could feel the downward spiral of my life begin, yet again.

School got harder and harder to pay for. I couldn't afford books. Then tuition got to be too bad. And the bottom just fell out. I didn't have books. I couldn't pay for Internet access. My computer blew up. And I wasn't working nearly as much as I had been. The music stuff, just wasn't paying off.

Like "Prince Charming," J came to my rescue. I had been working for my friend. For a few years by now. And I really leaned on him. One night, while I was working, I could hear him on the back porch. Because my office is in his house. And I just needed a break. It was the middle of July. And probably 105*F. No lie!

He just sat there. In his big 'ol rocking chair. Looking out to the fields behind his house. Dogs laying at his feet. And it hit me. I wanted more out of this life. More than I was allowing myself to have. I wanted to be happy. To be genuinely happy. When it comes from deep down inside. When you are so happy that you are jumping out of your skin! I hadn't felt that in years. Since before my Uncle Al passed away.

I sat in the other chair. And just rocked. It was calm. The heat of the night was suddenly stable. The stars felt calming. The constant sound of J's breathing a HUGE comfort. And I sat there. We sat there. For at least an hour, in silence. Before I broke down.

There are not many people that I feel completely safe with. Or comfortable with. I think that is why I distance myself from people. I'm not sure who I can trust. And how much of my life I can trust them with. Or if they will come back to hurt me. I don't know if I am a burden to them. Because my entire childhood, I felt like a burden to my parents. I felt like I could never go to them, when things got tough. That is a bad habit I learned.

But all of a sudden J came over to me. Scooped me up. And let me cry. Let me cry until the tears dried up. Until there was nothing left inside. The kind of crying that leaves you gasping for air. That completely drains your body of all it's energy. Then he let me talk. Never interrupting. Just let me talk. We stayed like that, well until the sun came up. Me crawled up in his lap. His arms wrapped tightly around me. Letting me know that I was safe.

That was the very first time, as an adult, that I have ever felt safe. I could sit there and cry and bare my soul. And I knew, he would never judge me. Instead, he just held me. Held me tight. The harder I cried, the more empty I felt, the tighter he held me. J is one of the very best friends that I have. I honestly, could not find a better friend.

That was the day that we promised each other something. When things got bad, I could just call him. No matter what was going on, he would be here for me. And I would let him financially help me. He is the only person I let help me. When something comes up, I go to him. And he puts up the money. And I work for him. Essentially, we have gotten to the point were he pays for all of my tuition ahead of time. Then I work the semester to pay him back.

For the most part it works out. And there are definitely nights when he finds me sitting on his porch crying. Like when we lose a patient. I work with kids, and that's tough. But he'll come and just let me cry. He tries to carry some of my burden. Making my life a little easier. Never trying to make my life better or easier. Just letting me get everything out. Letting me know, if there is anything I need, he is there.

To be honest, he is the only person, on this planet, that can just look at me and know when my world is crumbling. He can tell when I have had too much. Or when I just need to talk. J knows when I am just saying that I am fine, and when I am really fine. He knows the difference between my "I need to look happy" smile, and a genuine smile.

Sometimes life just gets tough. And sometimes you just need to fall apart. To just cry until your tears dry up. And you are red nosed. Until your eyes are swollen. We all need to know, that it is OK. We are not all made out of steel. There are times when the strongest of people need to crumble. We all need someone that will be here for us when we laugh and when we cry. And someone who can genuinely make us smile. Thank you J for being that person for me!
Right now, life is not at all easy. I feel like, not only is my back up against the wall. But I am stuck in a corner. Just trying to make it. I honestly don't know if I can financially go on with school like this. I can barely keep it together some days. Work is just killing me. And I don't mean working 100+ hours for no pay. I mean, seeing all these kids suffer.

But at the end of the day, I know I have at least one person on my team. One person that will love me whether I go on to be a doctor. Or if I end up working at Target for the rest of my life. I have one person on my team letting me know, that it is OK to be human. That we all have our weaknesses. And sometimes, it is OK to let them show. That it is OK to tell someone "No" or to find someone else to take care of a situation. For the first time in my life, I am understanding, that my dreams, MY DREAMS, deserve to be chased after. It is my life, and I need to be happy too! Thanks J! I know being on "Team Lola" can be tough. But I hope you know how much I love and appreciate that you are cheering me on. Regardless of how many times I stumble. :)



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Am I a Bad Person?

I feel horrible right now. Not the way I thought today was going to go. Not in the least bit. After all, I finally finished Emma Grace's nursery. Every ladybug in it's place. Pink blankets and cute bows fill her new nursery. But I still feel worse that a blood-sucking leech!

I broke the hearts of Marissa, Maribel, and Lauren. Because I really can't afford to go see them perform! I wish I could. But I can't. And there is nothing I can do about that small fact. Yes, 2 months ago, I asked for tonight off. Just so I could see them take the big stage. Not to mention, to see my friends perform. Heck, at one point, I thought I might actually play too! And of course, to get to see Pepe Aguilar. My favorite singer. The one that I have already missed 4 times, in the last 6 months. But $67 is just too much for me.

Especially, considering that I didn't have enough money, to pay my tuition payment yesterday. I used my entire paycheck from J. But it wasn't enough. Which seems to be a rather common occurrence this semester. So how can I justify spending $67? Heck, I couldn't afford the fee to go to the park, earlier today.

I feel bad. I felt bad when Maribel, my goddaughter, sat there and cried. Because I had to tell her, that I couldn't go see her tonight. But what am I supposed to do? I just finished the shows in Las Vegas. I work for J. But it is never enough. Never! School is literally sucking the life out of me. And every penny that I can get my hands on. Right at this very minute, I have $2.41 to my name. Not even enough to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk.

This is my situation. Yes, I was the one that walked away from the music business, to pursue a medical degree. Because that is what people expected of me. But I never thought, it would mean, isolating myself from the people I love. Or going without food. Or heat, because I just can't afford it.

Talk about having one's character tested. I feel like mine gets more than just a daily test. I try holding it together. Not letting people see the cracks. Hiding my weakness. Pushing them further and further down. But at the same time, those things are breaking me. I feel like my soul is being shattered. No matter how hard I work to keep it together, it just doesn't work!

And to make things worse. I got into a fight with my dad. I called my parents, just to say Hi! And it turned into WWIII. Why can't people see things from my perspective? I'm trying my hardest. The only way I know how. And it is still not enough? It's not enough for my dad. But then again, my dad expects me to do everything, without so much as a second thought. Why can't my dad see that I have too much on my plate? Or that his daughter needs 5 minutes of peace and quiet. Why can't he see that I am just a human being? Just like the rest of his kids. Someone who needs sleep, food, and an occasional day off. But he doesn't. He doesn't understand my insistence of doing things for myself. Of being an independent woman. The woman that he taught me to be.

When I was a kid, he told me to be independent. Not to rely on anyone. Never to depend on a man for money, status, love, happiness, etc. To go out there and do it for myself. My dad told me that there would be rough days ahead. But with a plan, some sacrifice, and a whole lot of willpower, I could get anything done. So that is exactly what I am doing right now. Why can't he see it?

Do I feel horrible? Yes! On a day, that should have been filled with thoughts of a brand new baby girl and the most glorious music in the world, I am sitting here miserable. To the depths of my soul, wondering what kind of person I am. Crying and trying to understand the struggles and lessons that God has laid out before me.

As an adult, even I am somewhat lost. I can just imagine what a 4 year old and 2-2 year olds are feeling. But I need to look past it. Past Mems insisting that he would pay for a ticket. Because his daughter, my other Goddaughter, really wanted me to be there tonight. I see this as a test. A test of strength and willpower. One day, one day in my future, I will be able to afford the necessities in life. Regular and descent meals. And maybe even a concert or 2.

Until then, there is a pile of laundry that needs to be washed. A toilet that needs to be cleaned. And a pile of files that needs my attention. What a glamorous life I live! I once took a stage, played for thousands of people a night. Made them smile, laugh, and helped them to have a good time. Tonight, I will be scrubbing the bathroom. And lugging my dirty laundry to my friend's house. Because not even my washing machine has the will to go on. Here's to a good night of housework!



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crochet Christmas Tree

As a kid, I had a mini Christmas tree. It was 3-4 feet tall. And I got to put it up in my bedroom every year! For my 1st Christmas, I was 9 months old. My mom made me a bunch of ornaments. To this day, I still have them. There is a snowman, a Santa, a long garland, etc. Everything crochet. Very vintage. Something I am a HUGE fan of!

I know it is a little early to be thinking about Christmas. And Christmas trees. But for about 3 years now, I have wanted to have a Christmas tree with all handmade ornaments. It seems like an easy task. Last year, I made about 12. Then my parents came to my house for Christmas, and they convinced me that we just needed to put up a tree. 2 days before Christmas my dad bought me hot pink and lime green decorations. My crochet snowflakes and stars were put away. And I didn't think about them any more.

Until tonight. I am at work. Dr. S brought me a mini tree for my office. It's about 4 feet tall. I'm thinking about my ornaments again. You see, one day during the summer, I got this wise idea. To sit and crochet some Christmas ornaments. It was 105*F and I was dreaming of snow and twinkle lights. I had 5 or 6 designs in mind. I figured I would make 5 of each. And I did really good. Until, I gave them away! Dr. S's wife really liked them. I gave her a set. I can't remember if there was 5 or 6 of them. But she loved them.

My boss' grandma really likes my crafts too. I sent her a set. And I gave a set to my neighbor. I only had 3 full sets. Now I have 5 angels, 6 stars, and 8 snowflakes. What a weird number! But I think, I am going to try really hard this year, to get them made. I figure I can crochet 5 of each design. That is roughly 30 ornaments. I found a pattern for a cute garland. And I have the perfect vintage twinkle lights. I think it will look nice in my office. That way I am not worried about the kids breaking an ornament and getting hurt.

Now to just get motivated to work on them. I have been making baby stuff. My goddaughter is due in less than a week. That's the only think I have on the brain. Booties, blankets, and little dresses. I need to get into the holiday spirit!