Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oh My Gosh!!!!!

All I can say is "Oh My Gosh!!!!"

After seeing "I Am Legend" we decided to go see this humongous building right next to Victoria Gardens and I was taken aback (and that's putting it mildly) by their interpretation of the "Great Outdoors." There's stuffed animals everywhere and I don't mean the cutesy ones, I mean the real ones - taxidermied -- or they could have been to make it look like real ones. There's a small lake in the middle of this store with bass and catfish swimming around. You can take an elevator down to the side of this lake and look right at the fish, but then you can do that from the outside, too. That was cool. The gun and rifle area is quite another experience with lots of animal heads jutting out of the walls. Some rifles cost 42,000 dollars!!!!!!! I did, however, thoroughly enjoyed shooting a rifle at the shooting gallery -- that was quite fun!

Coming from Idaho - growing up there all my young life, this place was very amusing. It's amazing what they can do with a tumbleweed....

We did, however, say we'll go back just to try out the restaurant which is said to be a setting like the Florida Keys.

So people, if you'd like to have a good laugh or cry (because of all the "stuffed" animals) then this is the place to go. :-)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thoughts . . .

Some more thoughts. . .

I don't know what it is about beginning a New Year -- I think it's the remembrance of years past that causes one to think and be grateful for a new year and the fact that we are still here. This last year was a difficult one in some respects. We lost our beloved Mr. M. in a tragic car accident. We helped my mother-in-law move all her belongings to the home she shared with her mother, our grandmother. We've been helping to get her home in order. Someone stole my identity-bummer! But working my way out of that one. It's just been heck, but look on the bright side -- we have our health, my kids are doing so well, and we're here.

My mind goes back to our first New Year's together as a married couple. We lived in a little one-bedroom basement apartment across from RCC in Riverside. We were so young with a little baby. She was such a cutie and we marveled at this precious little thing. Her daddy made her a small crib out of bamboo because we couldn't afford a store bought one. But you need to remember that this was back in the early seventies and we were considered "flower children or hippies" -- so it was an appropriate little bed for our little girl. Sometimes our car was not in working order, therefore, going to the store to buy necessities was an adventure. I would say the store was maybe a mile or two away. Her daddy would strap on a carrier to his chest and we would put her in there and away we went. We walked up and down grassy hills and busy parking lots, across streets talking and laughing all the way with our precious little girl fast asleep in her carrier. This little apartment and this time holds many good memories for me. It was the beginning of many new years together.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's everyone!

I've begun to put away all our Christmas decorations once again in preparation of the New Year. It's a chore, but I enjoy it because each ornament is a memory. I clean and dust them off in preparation for the next year's Christmas.

Today we took my father-in-law out for breakfast-lunch (brunch?). We took him to San Manuel's Indian Casino. He was like a child, waiting for us -- he was all dressed up and had a backpack ready with necessary meds and a water bottle. He was so happy that we were taking him somewhere. My husband and I have never been to this casino and I was very impressed. It's a different world, it's gigantic and colorful, there are all kinds of people, and the buffet was delicious! I was taken aback by the courteous staff everywhere. I played all of $6. Ha! Didn't win a thing. My honey, however, won $40 with $3 of play. It was a lot of fun. The only downfall- people are allowed to smoke. I came home smelling like a cigarette. Straight to the shower!

I'm so glad we took him -- I think he was very tired when we got him home. He's getting older and more feeble. I gave him a big hug and told him how much fun we had with him. What a good way to end this year. God bless my father-in-law.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."

Sometimes life will throw us a detour to help make us a better, kinder, more compassionate person. We go through life trying to do our best by helping where we think is necessary and important without thinking of the outcomes.

I feel the hurt that my daughter has gone through recently especially in the death of their kitty. She's always been a child so in love with every little animal that comes around -- "Can I keep it?" As a child we let her keep so many animals. At one time we had chickens, ducks, goats, a pony, a peacock, cats & dogs. She had a name for all of them. It would break my heart whenever one of her "pets" died and her dad and her would go bury it in the very corner of our acre plus land. She'd make a little cross or marker to let us know they were there. The next few days, she had another little animal to help heal her broken heart. And now they lost Timba. But he's ok, spiritually he is still around and someday she'll see him again. I know.
Then there's the episode of the "curtains." "Dad" in his infinite wisdom blessed by God said we should have taken Grandma to pick them out that way they would have been her choice and no one could have disputed the color or design or fabric or length or ANYTHING!!! Ha! That's why he took her to pick out her carpet. Like he said, "She picked it out!" Ah, but we didn't think.
Nevertheless, it's ok. Family is family and we love them. We must not let our hearts become hardened because then we lose sight of God's meaning for our lives. We need to stop and listen to His voice and understand what he has planned for us which definitely includes Him. And He is Love.
Mija, all I can say is you did good, you are blessed and we love you. Best of all you have new curtains in your living room!!! Alright then!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Plural Marriages?

The red moon on a Friday night. Fires are still blazing somewhere up in the mountains. So sad. Tired of the smoke-filled sky. I want to see our blue sky again.

Read some more of my book. It's called "Shattered Dreams" by Irene Spencer. It's amazing how a religion can make a person so dependent on it that it is their only means of salvation and eternal life. Dependent to the point of giving up your happiness to live in a "God-forsaken" area where nothing grows, no electricity, no nice clothes or niceties of life like jam, peanut butter, or fresh fruit. Destined to live with a man who's only thought is on procreation so that he may "secure" that kingdom on some world and populate it with his offspring. This is called "the Principle." And the men control it.

Forget what they say about no jealousy between wives in a plural marriage. Their definitely are jealousies. And why shouldn't there be? Stupid men in this religion!

I watched some people who live in plural marriages on Oprah today. What a coincidence. It was interesting, but vague. These people (pretty wives who say they don't get jealous - yeah, right) danced around the questions giving really sweet answers -- too syrupy for me. They did have a lady who used to live in the same compound that Warren Jessop lived in. At 14 she was married off to a 50 year old man... Cochino! She had I think 8 children with this man. But she said she was so unhappy. When her daughter turned 14, there was talk of marrying her off to an older man. Then while this lady's husband was away on a business trip, she left the compound with her eight children and never looked back. She didn't want her children to be a part of this religion anymore. Of course, she's shunned and will never be accepted again by them. BUT at least her children are safe. Now this was realism. Liked that lady.

I also watch BIG LOVE on HBO. Now that's a good show about plural marriages. Interesting and intriguing.

Why do I find this subject interesting? Who knows. Maybe because I was around it so much growing up that I always wondered about it. I've had friends who are Mormons and they've always been so secretive about it. I guess it's investigating a curiosity.
I haven't blogged for a while. They say when you take a Master's class, you really don't have time for much else. I like to read a lot, I think I have three books waiting in line for me to read. I get excited at the thought of what they are going to be about. Right now I'm reading (in 5-10 minute intervals) a really good story on Polygamy). It's quite a "culture/religion." I like to interpret dreams, too, but that takes a little bit of reasearch. One of my brothers is waiting for his dream interpretation... interesting dreamer. Hmmm..... Our area of the mountains has been on fire lately. We are off of work, therefore, a little time to blog. I have a chapter I have to finish reading for school and a paper to write. Drag... I'd rather read my books. Don't get me wrong, I like school, but I see why it's better to take all your classes while you're still young. More energy. I think I'll just go to school enough to get me to the next level of the pay scale and that's it. I admire my son-in-law and daughter for their desires to get a Master's -- it's A LOT of work. I'm just looking forward to retirement with my Honey. :-) Everyone have a good day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hispanic Heritage Month?

We are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. What? More on our plate. Why? At first I thought they were kidding. We've never celebrated this "month," why now? The district is insisting. Ok. What can my little ones do that they can do and not me? I'm hearing that classes are making papel picado, brightly colored tissue flowers, English/Spanish children's books, tile paintings, Diego Rivera murals, Ojo de Dios. Well then . . . I went on the internet and found a really cool idea. We are painting Zapotec weavings!!!!! How cool is that? Now I'm excited and can't wait to get started. Finish the descriptive writing and let's get started. We have two weeks.

Wish us luck....

Our art projects will be displayed in our cafeteria Oct. 17 during Student Led Conferences so that when parents are done with their child conference they can go and see our wonderful displays. I am so excited!!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Beauty & Sadness

Yesterday as I was making dinner, I looked out to see this very interesting, beautiful cloud formation in the sky off to the East. Almost whimsical. . .
The clouds continue to drift quietly across the sky.

A fire started yesterday in the Big Bear area. This morning we could still see the smoke coming over the mountain and now it looks like it's spreading. We had almost made it through Sept. without a fire.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Life is Good

We went to see my sister and brother-in-law this last weekend. They live right next to the ocean and the view was amazing. They are so blessed to live in such a nice "place." We saw so many boats and ships and ferries. We saw seals and a blue heron standing on the rocks. I'll put in some pictures later. I called her the next day to tell her how much we enjoyed their hospitality. I had not been so relaxed in such a long time. In fact, time was not of the essence this afternoon. We talked, we laughed, we looked. They took us to go eat at a really nice restaurant called Wiskey Pete's (wait a minute, is that the place at Stateline? Maybe I have the name wrong) Oh, I think it was Wiskey Jack's -- anyway the food was absolutely delicious for a Mexican-American - emphasis on the "American" - restaurant. I had the shrimp fajitas and my gosh -- it was the best!!!

Afterwards, we walked on the pier looking into shops and the boats docked nearby. The ambiance is so nice and comfortable. This was a much needed afternoon and night off -- away for just a little bit. Ahhhh. . . I told her next time we've got to go on a tour of the Queen Mary.

Pictures later....

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I am always amazed at the beauty that God gives us every morning. This morning we awoke to lightning and thunder and humidity. But when I saw this sight out of my kitchen window, I ran upstairs to take a quick picture. It was definitely awesome!

To my son it looked like Modor on Lord of the Rings and after seeing the clip I could see the similarity. Although in the movie, the color is red because of the battle that is going on and here, well, I guess you could also call it battle between the hot air and cool air of the morning. Hmmm....

Happy 5th Anniversary Daughter and Son-in-Law! You are a blessing to each other! God bless you both. See you this weekend. Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, August 19, 2007


This is a picture of beauty and awe. It is also a picture that shows some kind of restlessness in the clouds. When I took this picture last January, I wondered what it meant, if it meant anything. I hadn't seen anything like it and haven't seen since. But I liked it. It was beautiful.

This afternoon, my little sister-in-law came by to give us some news. She called to make sure we were home and said she was on her way--that she needed to talk to us. She asked if our daughter (her goddaughter) had talked to us. "No" was my reply. I immediately called our daughter and told her "C" was coming over. And she said, "I'll come over, too." I asked her, mija, she's not pregnant, is she (half-joking) and she replied, "Mom, I can't tell you!" And I said, "Hay mami, no me digas que alquien esta embarazada!" She said, "Mom, I'm coming over!" My mind raced -- who could it be? This is where the beauty and turbulence of the clouds comes in.

The beauty is that we will have a new little addition to our family -- a baby. The turbulence is that my nephew ( the one who lives with his grandma) is the daddy. Oh dear. . .

He has only known this girl for three months -- she is 2 months pregnant. Think!!!!

I don't know --- she suffers from depression and sometimes I worry that he does, too. And now we need to worry about the baby. Where will they live? With grandma? Who will take care of the baby? Will their relationship survive? Doubt it. THEY BARELY KNOW EACH OTHER!!!!! I feel for my sister-in-law, for grandma, and for my nephew. Lord.

Ok. Time to go on. Whew, that was a doosey. . .

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summer . . .

The end of my summer break is near. Soon I'll be back at it, teaching little ones, correctiing their papers, entering scores etc. etc. etc. It's been quite a month. Some months when I'm off track, I do very little because I'm not feeling well, but this month I have learned to eat better (no meat :-), no soda, very little chocolate. People (family) keep telling me to stop drinking coffee, but that's not the problem. Coffee to me is the ultimate pleasure when it comes to food or drink. I have been drinking coffee since I was maybe 15 or 16 years old, or younger. I have always enjoyed it con un pedazito de pan. My favorite is Folgers Columbian with cream and a little bit of sugar. Oh, I also enjoy a cup of Mocha Latte with whipped cream from Starbucks or Border's Seattle Coffee -- Ummmm .... the BEST! In my life time, I only stopped drinking coffee when I was pregnant with my kids and that was sooooo hard, but necessary.

I remember once, when our coffee maker broke, I told my husband that I would quit cold turkey. First day, ok. Second day -- a bit grouchy and head aches. Third day -- my husband told our oldest son "Son, go down to the AM/PM and get your mom a cup of coffee -- I LOVED HIM! Then we went a bought a new coffee maker. Ha!

Anyway, to another topic. As I was saying, summer break is almost over. Our youngest will be a junior this year. He got his Learner's Permit for driving. He's growing up.

Sometimes when I am somewhere waiting for something whether it be at a stop light or waiting at a store or doctor's office, I see parents with little ones, talkative little ones, excited little ones and I feel sad. I start to remember my kids when they were at that age. Have you seen that commercial where the little girl is talking and talking and the dad is trying to close the door and he runs around to the driver's side and she's still talking? That was our daughter. We loved to hear her chatter. She always had so much to say. Took after her Dad. :-) Then our first son, he was always so quiet and serious. One day when we were going to school and he was sitting in the back seat he said "Mom, why didn't you name me Bill Lopez or Nino Cosby? I turned around to see if he was laughing and he sat there with the most serious face, I knew he was joking and I started to laugh -- then we both laughed. Then there is my youngest, he was a blend of my two oldest -- quiet and talkative. I enjoy our conversations in the morning on our way to school. I enjoy his help in the kitchen. He's no longer a child, but a young adult. He's talking college and future. I foresee that with God's blessings he will soon be on his way, too and then we will be alone without kids. All I wanted to be in life was a mother. This is what makes me sad . . . But maybe I can think positive and be happy that they are all successful in their lives and now I can learn to just be who I am and enjoy spending time with them when I see them. Long and drawn out, I know, but this was my month -- a contemplation of memories, thoughts for the future, thoughts of who I am becoming, thoughts of better health and a strive to meet that goal, thoughts about thoughts. God bless ALL my kids.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Que te puedo decir?

In reading my daughter's and son-in-law's blogs, I, too, will contribute to the when and wheres of speaking in our language.

I am first generation American. My parents are from Mexico, but now citizens of the United States. I grew up speaking, reading and writing in Spanish. Our parents did talk to us in Spanish and I have always respected this language.

When I was young, we attended a school in a small rural community in southern Idaho. We were there because we were migrant farm workers. My dad and mom decided we would no longer migrate because we needed to go to school. All the "compadres" decided the same, therefore, we lived all together in another small community about 20 miles from this school. I loved school. I remembered the first year I was there. I sat in a classroom that was predominantly white. My teacher's name was Mrs. Nutting. She had short curly permed hair and wore glasses and she was nice. At the beginning I used to listen to her talk not knowing what she was saying. Teachers read from the Bible every morning right after the Pledge of Allegiance. Recess was a form of a life- saver because we (our friends) were able to converse in Spanish until a teacher would walk by us and say "Speak English!!" We would grow quiet. Once they were far enough away, we returned to our Spanish.

My dad had us older children read in Spanish and write to our cousins in Mexico in Spanish. Movies for us were at a Mexican theater in Paul, Idaho. I loved going there because all the "compadres" kids were there, too. We'd run and sit way in the front with our popcorn and soda. Watched a lot of good movies there. The only English-speaking movie I saw when I was a kid was "The Three Stooges in Outer Space." It was so funny!

I tried very hard to hold on to my language. My parents slowly began using more and more English to communicate with the outside world. English was survival, it was a way to get and hold a job, it was acceptance. My mom used it more with us kids than my dad. My dad still spoke to us in Spanish. It was ok. English and Spanish.

Sometimes speaking English is seen as a way to be successful in this country, it's seen that way now and it was seen that way a long time ago. It's what you do with it that counts. Retaining your own language is a must, it's a treasure. When my mom and I are alone, she will speak to me in Spanish and I to her. It 's more comfortable that way. I think in Spanish and translate to English. In disciplining my students at work, it's easier in Spanish because I think faster in Spanish. Yes, my own children learned more in English because of their environment whether it was preschool, day care, English-speaking relatives, but had I been more able to teach them in Spanish I would have.

The moral of this long rambling is this: Teach your children Spanish or any other language along with English. They'll be geniuses (like my kids :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

An Excellent Sacrifice . . .

Today at church the sermon was on the kind of sacrifice God wants from us: He wants an excellent sacrifice -- it is giving the BEST that you can whether it be at work, at home with your family, your spouse, and with your extended family and friends because it is the right thing to do and has nothing to do with your own personal objectives. It is about giving all your BEST to God. The most excellent sacrifice touches the heart of God for generations.

I come away from church with a feeling of "Wow, that was amazing!" My son laughs and says "Mom, you say that every Sunday," and he's right, I do.

After church, we stopped by my mother-in-law's home It was good to see her again. She looks good. My nephew, who lives with her, was there. My nephew- how can I explain him?
I love him, my heart hurts for him because I feel he needs so much guidance and he reaches out for it and I can only do so much. He has protective "parent" who I need to be careful about so I'm careful of the answers I give him. He is older than my oldest son who has been on his own for a couple of years, yet he acts as if he is younger. Too much was done for him when he was young and was not allowed to grow up -- or should I say was not forced to grow up.

When it was time for my oldest son to go -- make his own way -- I told him, "Son, you know how you have lived at home for a while now -- it's like a bird's nest, well Son, I cut off the branch, and you need to fly. Why Mom? Because it's time. I need to let you grow up. You need to go now. And he went. My nephew has never gone and sadly to say, I don't think he will because he doesn't know how to and maybe he doesn't want to know. He has visited my son and likes the life he lives, likes his independence, but he continues to live with grandma. He needs someone to cut his branch, but I don't think they will. I will continue to love him as I always have and continue to listen to him. God bless him and my mother-in-law.

Good news! Our youngest son passed his driver's permit test! Good job!

Monday, July 30, 2007


Just a thought. . . Our daughter is home after an almost one week conference to Atlanta. We missed her. Our son-in-law really missed her :-). My brother and his family are back from Italy. He loved it and wouldn't mind living out there. His wife has family in Italy. He said life was so simple and slow-paced and kind. The fact that everyone dresses up even to go on the bus was wonderful to him. They plan to return in 3 years. I'm glad he had a good time. My younger brother is feeling better. He sounds better. He said someday he hopes to make connections with the family again. There is hope. Life is too short. I miss my Dad. . . Zach, my mom's dog was bit by a rattlesnake protecting their little chihuahua, Buddy, and they think he will eventually die. They're giving him anti-venom and antibiotics, but he is still not doing well. Poor Zach. And we're fine, thank God. I'm off-track for about three weeks. I'm ready for this break -- need it. Time to sleep in, watch t.v., go shopping, go to the movies, play Monopoly with my youngest son, and cook. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Anger (sigh . . . )

Why do people hold on to anger so much? Don't they realize how much it hurts their spirit?

I talked to my little brother tonight and the anger he feels to past events has gone on too long. I try to tell him how precious life is, to have faith that everything will be alright, to look to the future and leave the past in the past. But, he can't. He is not ready to do that. In the process he has alienated himself and he's ok with this. Alright, he will do what he wants to do. I call it Stubborness! How he reminds me of my father... We never fall far from the tree, do we.

What do you do about a situation like this. I love everyone -- or at least I try to. I can be pretty stubborn myself, but come on -- who does it hurt in the long run--everyone.

I don't know -- I just think life is too short to be angry all the time. It's such a waste. It's so much better to wake up in the morning, thank God for another day and greet everyone with a "Good Morning!" or a "Buenos Dias!" How perfect is that.

I feel for my little brother because he could be so happy if he just allowed himself to be. His therapist said it the best -- Time will heal everything -- and he's right, but my brother is not ready. Again to what I said at the beginning -- Why is he holding on to so much anger? I'm tired and I don't agree with him.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Lots of Blessings!

The weekend is here -- 1st two days of school shelved away. It never fails -- at the beginning of a new school year I miss my last year's students very much and standing before me are children who last week were in kindergarten -- talkative and very active. They miss their kinder teacher (who by the way is a beautiful person with a very kind heart), they want to go to the bathroom (one kid was gone for about 10 minutes -- "Oh yes, Mrs. L, he does that all the time," they miss playing games, blocks, puzzles etc. It was a tiring day to say the least on my first day. But as they prepared to go home, one of my "new" little girls said, "It's only our first day, Mrs. L. -- tomorrow we will be better." I was so touched and thanked her and them for a "wonderful" first day. I know I have the BEST job.

We had a very restful and delicious 4th of July at my daughter and son-in-law's home. The time went so fast. I really enjoyed the peacefulness of their backyard and the way our family was all together. I miss that very much. As I was growing up as a young adult--people would ask me "And what do you want to be when you grow up?" I would reply, "I want to be a mother." That's all I wanted to do -- be a mother--a good mother to my children. We were and still are so blessed with our children and sometimes when they are all together, I tell my husband -- "Listen, just listen to them." We hear their voices, their laughter, their discussions. We are in awe because these are OUR children. We smile and we laugh with them. God has certainly blessed us.

Hey! Before I forget -- I got my vacuum cleaner back today from the shop! I was so excited! I was using a used one and it just wasn't doing the job. Yuck! But ok -- it tried. Every woman needs her very own vacuum cleaner that is dependable beyond words. I'm so glad I have it back. I got to go vacuum now. Yay! It's back!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Here we are again, one day before the 4th of July. I finally finished getting everything ready at work for a new year at school. My daugher says,"Mom, go home!" And she's right -- I need to go home, but beginning a school year unprepared is like going to work with two different shoes on and one of them being a slipper. Can't do it. But I'm ready. Here we go. I met the new teachers -- every year we get new teachers. I have been at my job for 21 years and every year new teachers are hired, old teachers move on or retire. The ones I met today are so nice. Really like them. They're going to fit in just fine. One teacher who's name is "Pat" is probably as old as me and it's her first year teaching. I liked her. As a side note: Our last principal whom I liked very much always hired young blond teachers (I have nothing against blonds, but come on -- brunettes are pretty good, too. :-) When my daughter used to sub at our school, she would say -- "I feel like I'm in a segment of "Children of the Corn." Hmmm.... So needless to say, it's good to see variety again.

My little sister-in-law called me last night and we talked for a good long time. She is feeling dread -- she doesn't know what it means. I don't either. I wish I could help her figure it out, but I can't. I'll wait to see what it is. Interesting how we can get these feelings and why do we? Got to clean now :-) I have neglected my house. I'm so glad our daughter is having the 4th at her house. Ahhhhhhh........

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 23, 2007

Today was my mother's birthday. It was a wonderful day for her. I could tell she was very touched by all who attended. It was a surprise to her to see one of my brothers and my little sister. She was so happy and I was happy for her. She deserved this day. God bless her.

Because it was a Hawaiian theme, there were lots of shis-ka-bobs (I don't think I spelled that right, but you know what I mean). They were absolutely delicious!

My daughter's gift to my mom -- in a coconut! It was a wonderful day.

Yesterday, before my mom's birthday, we went to "Play on the Freeway!" It was a lot of fun and quite interesting to see how they brought it altogether with so many activities. We have been waiting patiently for this freeway to be done. I think they have been working on it for at least seven years. Perhaps this was their way to say have a little bit more patience -- soon it will be done.

My husband remembers when the Helms Bakery truck would cruise the neighborhoods on the West Side selling glazed doughnuts and pastries. How neat is that? Wow! One of the Car Show entries.

A cool rock climbing wall. Lots of kids.

Mayor Quimby and the gang. :-)

It was cool to actually walk on the freeway and look at all these really well-taken-care-of old cars. I enjoy car shows.

A picture of a "Hello Kitty" car for my daughter.

My future car -- when I retire or perhaps an updated version would be nicer. :-)

Good Old Stater Brothers.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Mom's Party - Cool!

Today was our last day of school for this year. The year went by too fast. I said goodbye to my little ones and hugged them as they left my classroom for the last time as 1st graders. I will miss them. But then again - it was time.

Tomorrow is my mom's birthday and I feel excited and somewhat anticipatory. My sister and I were hoping for all the children to be there, but alas, only the regulars will be there and that's ok to a degree. My brother and his family from Sacramento will be there. My little sister from Idaho and their youngest son will be there. My little sister from Phoenix and her husband will be there, my youngest brother, my family, and my sister. That makes six siblings which is not bad considering that there are nine of us. It just would have been nice if all had come out for my mom. How can they not understand that my mom will not always be here. I'm so glad we are going. Now the anticipatory part is that I need to behave and be polite to all in attendance - primarily the "in-laws" who will remain unnamed. I'm an in-law, too, and I know how it feels to be excluded. So, therefore, I will be nice. OK? :-) Excited!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Beautiful Bedroom

I haven't blogged for a while. Things have been very busy around the old homestead. After our son moved out, we had a spare bedroom with thoughts of what to do? A Pool Room? A video game room? A catch - all room (oh, it already was :-) And we can be pretty layed-back, take our time for a long time and that's ok with us. BUT this time we are hurrying to get this room done because my Mom's birthday is in two weeks and a lot of the family is coming, therefore, preparing the extra bedroom for guests. Whew! It's been. . .

In less than a week, it's been painted, a bed has been bought, curtains hung, furniture (ugly) moved out. It looks so pretty -- almost like another world. My honey has worked very hard getting it ready. Thank-you, Honey. We have done it in the style of Tahitian - Mexican, HA!

To top things off, report cards will be due in one week and I still need to finish grading all the kid's math packets. I think I have two weeks worth left. The good thing, tho, is that most of the time, I grade as they do. Therefore, I just need to more or less enter grades. I can't wait for this year to be done. It's time for my little ones to leave me. They've been a really great group. I will definitely miss them - a lot.

Next weekend -- a wedding -- then my Mom's birthday (an interesting day to say the least). I will be on my best behavior -- I promise :-).

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Life is Good

27 years ago on May 22, we celebrated our 4th anniversary by giving birth to our first son. Yes, he was our present and how delighted we were that he was finally here. As I layed there pushing with all my might, the doctor came in and asked, "Mrs. L. would you mind if a few students come in to watch the birth of your child?" "Sure," I said. It was ok. "Let's just get this done!" The room filled up with possibly 15 medical students as they stood there smiling at me -- and myself wondering, "Who are these people?" My son was born to a round of applause and a congratulations to us. We thanked them as they filed out of the delivery room. And then they gave him to me. Oh my gosh, what a feeling that was and always has been when you first hold your new baby. 27 years ago. And now my son is a producer for a program on Court TV. How proud we are of him.

We've had such a busy week. Our niece graduated from Middle College (a high school program at a JC) and with her AA Degree. Both ceremonies were really nice, especially the high school ceremony because it wasn't as long. More personal. But the really neat thing that happened during her high school graduation was that after when we all got together to congratulate my niece, my sister-in-law was introducing a friend of hers to us. She said, "I'd like you to meet my brother and sister-in-law and as she moved for her to see us, I glanced up and saw my dear best friend from yester-year whom I had not seen in over 30 years. Can you believe that? We both looked at each other and screamed -- I know I screamed her name, then we hugged each other with many years full of missed hugs -- un buen abrazo.
My gosh, she had not changed in the least. She looks the same. She said the same about me, but I had to correct her because I have the white hair. Ha! It was so good to see her. We had lost touch way back when because she had gotten married, I moved and I got married, and of the group of 6 girls that always hung out together, only 4 of us have kept in contact with each other. We would always asked each other if we had heard from "A," but to no avail. We did not know where she was and then to find out she had never changed her old phone number. We never thought to call her. We will now keep in touch. Planning a get-together in a few weeks. Life is good. Thank you, Lord.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Yucky Year Round!!!!

Yesterday I went back to work. I very much dislike the year-round routine, if you want to call it that. Whoever thought of this concept sure was dumb. I follow a young teacher whom I like very much. She is an excellent teacher and most often times teaches to the last day, much like myself. She's also taking two classes for her Masters which compounds the work she has to do. Needles to say, however, the room was nowhere near done. Oh well, what can I say? So I said "Let me help you with the Mother's Day presents." Poor thing -- she puts too much on herself to do at the last minute. Not me! I'm done and out the door with my little ones. It could be I stay after school at least until 5:30 every day the week we're going off-track. What a bummer. Like I said the person or persons who thought of this should come see me -- I'd give them a piece of my mind - plus. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! And I don't use this word lightly.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blessings All Around

Cool! I'm getting better at this. :-) It's amazing what one can do with technology. This is a picture of us entering Arizona. My sister and her family live in Phoenix and I just love taking a ride out there. Arizona is a beautiful state. The last time we went was for Thanksgiving. During this trip, we went to Sedona and also the Grand Canyon. It was amazing! If we could retire to Sedona, I would be in heaven. It's so beautiful. When I'm able to get those pictures from the camera to the computer (when I learn from my daughter) then I'll post them so you can see what I mean.

Tomorrow I return to work. It's been a good off-track. I helped see my sister through her cancer surgery and thank God for carrying her through. He is an awesome God and I love Him so. I got to spend time with my siblings and my Mom. Thank God for my Mom, too. She's a very strong lady. God bless her. Hey, and I cleaned my house - nice. Next week I get to see my little ones whom I have missed very much. They are a good class. Only two month or less before I send them on to 2nd grade. Teach! Teach! Teach!

Attempt to Insert a Photo, Hmmmm

Cool, I did it! But how do I turn it right side up? This is my daughter's art. She is very artistic and creative.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happiness and Sadness

A little bit of a catch-up: My sister's operation went so well that I believe it was a miracle. So many people were praying for her and God in His infinite mercy is healing her. The doctors were able to remove all her cancer and we hope that it has not spread. The doctors were very optomistic as to the outcome -- they don't think it has spread. We will know for certain this week sometime. She is doing so well. Thank you all for your prayers.


Today we went to a funeral -- a very sad funeral -- for a young man, 26 years old, as old as my son. They went to school together. Their children know our children. I remember when he was a little boy-- he always looked so cute with a big smile for everyone. --Then one night leaving a restaurant, he got into an argument with another man. All he wanted to do was exit his parking space. "Can you please let us get out?" The other man arguing with someone else pulled a gun and shot him and his wife. My heart broke when I heard it was him.

There were so many people at his funeral, a testament to his love of his family and friends. A testament to the respect taught by his parents towards others. A testament to how much we all loved this young man and his family.

At the funeral, his mother cried inconsolably -- her cries breaking the warm stillness of the afternoon as we all stood and listened to the Pastor speak for strength and guidance through this difficult time. My heart again breaks for her.

At the end of the service, the doves were sent flying as we all watched with a heavy, heavy sadness as they flew first this way and circled around the other way staying near his coffin. And in this quietness as we all looked toward the sky the sweet melodic tune of windpipes could be heard off in the distance as a fireman was being laid to rest. Then a child laughed as the birds continued to circle. I'm sure the those birds made him happy. This made me smile, because here was a child to remind us that we were still alive to tell our beloved family and friends how much we love them and enjoy the life God blesses us with each and every day. We won't ever forget this young man. He was a blessing to his parents and brothers and sisters and to all of us. God bless them all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cleaning is Good!

Yesterday I cleaned our office -- my son in-law will be so happy since he likes to study for his Master's in this cluttered room. My son said "Mom, there was nothing for me to hit my toe on!" Smart-aleck! Nonetheless, it's clean and spacious once again. I'm embarressed by the clutter that accumulates the three months that I'm on-track, although I can honestly say this accumulation was since last summer. Why I didn't clean in December (my last off-track time) I don't remember -- too long ago. Ha! I'm getting rid of the "Mr. Wonderful" doll, keeping the big, green alien from Roswell, got rid of some stumpy, not my style, candlesticks and threw away lots of paper trash. My gosh! Where does it come from? Oh! And I also put away the 4th of July decorations! Finally! Wait a minute-- the 4th of July is 3 months away - oh well... it's put away. I guess that's why they call this time of year Spring Cleaning -- I like it! Oh, and daughter in case you read this -- I found a stocking stuffer for you, but I'll put it in your Easter basket! :-) Ah... now to attack my bedroom. Life is good. Thank you, Lord.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Great Physician

Two Sundays ago, we heard a story about a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal and had continued to get worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him and touched his cloak -- I imagine that she touched the hem of his cloak -- because she thought "If I touch his clothes, I will be healed." And she was -- immediately. When Jesus asked, "Who touched my clothes?" and when he looked around, the woman knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. And Jesus said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

This story has always been one of my favorites. When I hear it, I am in awe of this woman because of the honor she had to be able to see Jesus and to touch him, even his garment. Can you imagine to be in His presence? It's a wonderful story.

This story also reminded me of my sister. She has always told me, "I have faith that I will be alright." My response to her was "I will have faith, too." Throughout our lives, I have always felt that she has more faith than me. I struggle with the sadnesses of sickness and death. I need to remember that God is in the healing business. He is the Great Physician, a loving, caring, merciful and compassionate Father who does not want His children to be physically sick.

My sister's cancer is in the early stages and very treatable. When I heard this, she said, "I was expecting to hear the worst." I answered her with, "And I was hoping for the best." Maybe I am becoming more faithful. Thank you Lord for your healing.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Very Special Sister

A Very Special Sister

For many years we've shared our lives
One roof we once lived under
Sometimes we laughed, sometimes we cried
Through winter storms and thunder
The younger years have faded fast
We've gone our separate ways
But through all time our friendship lasts
Our bond in life remains
As summer brings the happy times
The autumn winds will whisper
A closer friend I'd never find
Than the one I call my Sister.

When my sister and I were kids we used to run in the fields where my dad was working not far from our little home with the wood burning stove. We would watch the dark clouds as they began to roll over above us. We'd hear the thunder and pretended that God was playing with a bowling ball. We knew lightening would follow soon. We could see our little house off in the distance and start running, laughing and yelling to each other. Once the lightening started, we would "dive" into the small waterless ditches along the field. We'd lay there side by side watching the lightening spread it's amazing rays across the sky. We'd look at each other and smile. I was scared, but I knew as long as she was there with me, I was ok. Once the rain began to fall, we'd run toward the house, entering drenched in rain. I remember those days and I know that she does, too. I was 4 and she was 5.

My sister has cancer. What do I do now? She has a lot of faith, I need to have faith, too. She tells me to stay positive and I will -- for her. We have a fight ahead of us so that when this is over, we can smile and laugh again. I love my sister. God bless her.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Beloved Pets

A quick thought -- remember the movie "Homeward Bound" or something like that about the pets that make it back home? There's always hope. . .

Our Beloved Pets

When I was young, we had a dog named King. He was a long-haired German Shepard. He was a gentle and faithful dog. He was not a barker nor did he run after cars or people. We were eight children at the time and maybe some were more attached to King than others. I saw him as our best dog, petted him and loved him. He loved to chase after porcupines and boy, did he use to pay for that. At first we would take him to the vet until the vet showed us how to remove those painful quills. Then we started to do it ourselves, laughing and caressing him at the same time. Silly dog. One day, someone poisoned him and we were very sad. We don't know why, it didn't matter, what mattered was that he was gone. I think I decided then that I would never attach myself to another dog again. It was too painful.

Then I met my Una, a little German Shephard puppy that my honey gave me when we were dating. I loved her the moment I saw her. That summer I went home for a little while that turned into a longer while. During this time, little Una died of distemper. Again I was saddened. No more dogs...

Many years have passed and El Grito came into our lives. Oh, that El Grito! He was a character. A little Chihuahua. At first I kept him at bay, but he won me over with his pleading little eyes :-). When we said "Boom!" he would lay down and roll over, playing like he was "dead." One day he got out and was killed by a neighbor's bigger dog. I had never been so sad about a little dog in my life. My heart broke.

I think they say when we pass on, our pets will be there waiting for us also. I don't know if this is true, but it's good to think it may be.

My mija's dogs were taken not too long ago and I know she hurts. I wish I could tell her that this, too, will pass, but the love you feel for these beloved pets never fades. You remember them always. It's like your life is made of different compartments that you pull out to look at. There are mementos of that time, happy and sad. You laugh and you cry of the memories left behind. We see the future compartments and wonder with anticipation of what memories will be stored in there and it brings a smile to our faces because we know happy times will once again occupy these spaces. But we won't forget our pets. They live in our hearts and in our memories. It will be ok, mija, it will be ok.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Gal. 5:22,23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control."

We buried him last Tuesday. It was a nice ceremony. Our families were still divided, but that's ok. As long as we all loved him and we did. And now we go forward in life. It feels good to be back to a semblance of happiness and continuity.

We hosted a dinner "party" for some of our nieces and nephews Thursday night. My mother in law came, too. A chance to relax and like I said, enjoy life -- through their eyes this time. We laughed so much, they talked about the past, the present, and God-willing, their futures. But the best was their laughter. This is what life is about - to love and and laugh.
I'm so glad we did this -- we all needed it.

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Life left him last night. He was tired, his breathing labored. His spirit is free now to soar toward heaven and our good Lord who had been waiting for him. Good-bye, Compa, you were always good to us.

Friday, February 16, 2007


What is the value of love? Can there be an amount put to that value? I don't think so because in the end -- there's nothing that can replace what was once there. Love is a feeling felt deep in your heart, in your mind, in your soul, in your whole being. Material things will never compensate for the person you miss. True you can smell a scent left on a jacket for as long as you can and remember when he used to wear it and how handsome he looked in it. You can remember the hugs, the kisses on the cheek, the smiles, the long chats about nothing and everything. But when they're gone it's too hard to understand. Where is that cup of coffee -- that piece of toast?

Life is leaving him and we will miss him very much. I lost my father so long ago and now we are losing another father again and I feel so sad. Pray for us all.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


When I was young I used to love swimming at Banbury's Hot Springs and then have pineapple and ham pizza at Sliger's Restaurant by the Snake River.

When we were first married, we frequented a sandwich place off of Market Street down a quiet alley.

And now . . . I enjoy a chile relleno at a table for two by the window at Cuca's. Thank you, Honey, for your love.


One day long ago, I wanted to come to San Bernardino to visit my husband (boyfriend back then). I lived in Riverside and took the bus. When I arrived, he wasn't waiting for me. I waited for a little while and began to worry. I did not know his mom or step-dad, but I had their phone number. I called and introduced myself and asked for my "boyfriend." His mom told me he had to work late and where was I? I told her I could wait for him -- I was at the bus stop. She said they would come for me. When they drove up I was taken aback by her beauty and grace. His step-dad was tall and strong -- and they were both so nice. They took me to their home and I remember how beautiful it was. A forest green rug with white couches. Gold-colored wall decorations, a huge mirror on one wall and a marbled dining table. I sat down quietly and she quickly invited me into the kitchen. There they were cooking together, talking, laughing. She called him "Dear." He called her "Dear," too. I was so quiet and shy, but I sincerely enjoyed watching them. They were so happy.

I cry and sadness overwhelms me to see him laying in that hospital bed. I want him to get up. I want to say "Hi, Compa!" But he's in a coma. Does he hear us? Is he waiting for us to let him go? Can we let him go? We pray for a miracle -- we want to prove the doctors wrong. "...Thy will be done . . . on earth as it is in heaven." It's so hard to let go.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Sometimes when I hear a song - a beautiful song, melodic - I feel I can fly over the treetops free of worry and sadness. Then reality sets back in and I know this is but a glimpse of wonderment. My step father-in-law, our compadre, was in a serious car accident last night. We don't know if he will make it and we leave him in God's hands that the good doctors may minister to him with all their expertise. My sadness is for my daughter, his Godchild, and my mother-in-law.

My own father died maybe 12 years ago. I say maybe because it feels like last year or two years ago. He was sick for a long time. I remember going to see him at the hospital every day after work. We would take turns, my sister, mom and I. My turn was in the afternoon until dinner time and then I'd run home, make dinner, and run right back to stay with him in the evening hours. My mom and sister stayed with him all day and most of the late afternoon. This day, I read him a children's story book in Spanish "I"ll Love You Forever." It was about a mother who had a baby and she would rock him back and forth, back and forth - and she would tell him, "I'll love you forever." I changed the mother to a father for him. I asked him if he liked it and he gently nodded "yes." By this time he was so hooked up to so many machines and he was blind. It made me angry to see him this way. He was so unhappy. I told him I loved him and asked him if he loved me too. He nodded yes again. I told him I would be back later. Kissed him on the forehead and left with a heavy heart. It was going to be 4:00. For days now when I went to sleep, I could hear his heart beating. This day however when I laid down for a nap I dreamt he was floating. I woke up startled because I could not hear his heart anymore. The phone rang and it was my sister to tell he had passed away at 4:30. He had been alone. He had waited till I left and died before she got there. My sadness was great. I loved my father with all my heart.

And now we are at another crisis road in our lives. God willing my step father-in-law pulls through and I know he will have a long road of recovery ahead of him, but we will be there to help as I'm sure many people will be. All we can do is pray for him and our family. Perhaps listening to melodic music is good -- it helps ease the pain.

Friday, February 2, 2007

My Sister

I have a little sister who is my best friend. She is sweet and kind. She has a soft voice and thinks nice things about everybody. She is a blessing to me. And I love her so much.

We are years apart, but yet she understands me. When I am sad, she is sad with me. When I get excited, she gets excited, too.

I left home when she was still young, therefore, I did not get to see her through her teenage years. And for this I am sorry. I wish I had been there for her more. But that is in the past and I marvel at what she has accomplished in her life. Her husband is sweet - we love him. Her children are loving and courteous.

Today she called me -- she was concerned about the stress we were having at work because of the upheaval we recently had. I gave her the good news and she was happy for us. This is a sister -- A sister is love. Thank you, sister.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Today was a better day. In fact, it was a much better day than the ones we've been having for a long time. Things are looking up at work once again. Posted some standards today -- looked at my classroom with a feeling of satisfaction like maybe this is all worth it. I love my kids - I do, but when the district gets on their high horse and thinks so little of us, then that's where things start to go downhill. I get the feeling -- no, it's more like a known fact -- we live in two different worlds. We live with teaching and caring for our little ones and they live in the world of money and the making of money. Makes me mad!

But like I said it looks like things are once again going to be on track. We have some hard working people on our side and they did their job well, including my daughter who is very union( takes after her dad :-). This battle really took a toll on us, but thank God, it looks like it's coming to a close. We can go back to the enjoyment of teaching. . . . And living.

Super Bowl this Sunday!!!! 80 degree weather!! Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs!! Enjoy the game!!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Mom

Moms are great!

That day was fun. I enjoyed it. I realize that I have things in common with her. I drive like her--the slow lane on the freeway :-). We both like to browse at the stores -- we like to take our time. When we're together, I like when she talks Spanish with me -- this is my mom. I have the time now to spend with her and I don't want to waste it. I realize time goes along too fast and we don't know what tomorrow will bring. I need to make the most of it by calling her regularly and hopefully, God willing, get to see her more often.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

To Forgive

To forgive is to forgive from the heart with love with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I learned this at our Woman's Bible Study yesterday. It seems simple enough, but it gave me lots to think about. We can say, "Yes, we forgive," but do we really? Does the pain caused by the hurt go so deep that we can not forget? So is forgiveness really there. This can be a problem and it has been mine.

The Lord's Prayer which is the best prayer we can say has the verse "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors," How can we ask God to forgive us for our sins if we can not forgive. He loves us so much that we need to extend that love to everyone and pray for those who have possibly offended us and forgive them with love. We need to pray in faith and realize that the battle is not ours, but God's, and we need to seek Him first.

When I heard this I was amazed. I was elated. A door had been opened to me and I thought, Wow! Is that what I have to do? I can do this with God's help, I can pray with my heart and in love and with the help of the Holy Spirit. I can give my battle to God. My complacency is gone. I am excited for what lays ahead because I feel all will be good in His Name.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dear Friend

IWe just heard that our dear friend made it through an angioplasty and he's doing well. We are so happy. Thank you, Lord.

I hope we will be able to go see him soon. God willing he will get well and continue his fight against the cancer.

I don't understand this cancer business. What has become of our environment to cause so much harm to us? Sometimes I think we need to go completely organic in order to keep our bodies healthy. Do we not eat meat anymore? How about sodas -- diet? Then on the other hand, how about our minds? As we get older do we begin to become more forgetful? But that would mean that I've been old for a long time. :-) Who knows. I'm just so happy that he's came through his procedure good. More prayers.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our Friend

Last night we learned that a dear friend of ours has cancer. I cried. My husband and I held each other. Today I felt helpless. What can I do to help? I cried again. They are our best friends and we love them so much. I look at my little ones in my class and I feel a lot of love for them, too. And they make me smile and appreciate all I have. Still, I don't understand. I have to have faith that God will see them through this, too. We need to pray for them.

Monday, January 15, 2007

My Mother

Today I went shopping with my mother. We had a great time just walking around and looking at every little thing. I tend to be a quicker shopper, but it was nice to slow down and enjoy the afternoon with her.

Sunday, January 7, 2007


Yesterday I began my first blog. I had to leave because my father-in-law was rushed to the hospital, but he is ok. My little sister-in-law, God bless her soul, had become worried because he had woken from a dream screaming and slurring his words. He is diabetic and we worry about him. Also he had been in a traffic accident not too long ago and I'm sure this has caused him lots of stress. He is ok now. The doctor thinks he didn't eat right and the stress. My sister-in-law diagnosed it just right. She should be the doctor.

It wasn't too hard to write all that. I used to write a lot in high school. I even got the award in English-Writing my Senior year which was quite an accomplishment for me seeing that Spanish is my first language. Through the years, tho, raising a family has taken precedence over anything else. My writing extends to a few e-mails to a favorite brother and best friend in New Mexico and that's it. Oh, also Christmas cards :-). I'll send Christmas cards.

I was raised to keep my thoughts to myself. Family business stayed as family business. So this should be quite an endeavor. I will write about the weather! Ha!

Tomorrow I go back to work after being on vacation for 6 weeks. It will be great to see my little ones. I teach 1st grade.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Papitas and Fish

Today I made Papitas and Fish. You might wonder why this is important. It is because Papitas are my youngest son's favorite food and Fish is everyone's favorite food, especially trout from Idaho. Now you might wonder why trout is so special to us and that's because I grew up with trout on the dinner table often. I will go more into this with time. This is my first post and I feel so new to all this technology... I read my daughter's blog almost daily and I enjoy it -- She's very creative.. Family emergency --I'll write more later.

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