Category Archives: Family

Though Seasons May Change

I am starting to realize that changes in Life are a mixed bag. Some changes are simple and require nothing but an acknowledgement before one moves on: a change in hairstyle, the falling of leaves, etc. Some changes come as mixed blessings, and though part of the change is bad, invariably it enhances the good.

The other night I sat down to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has been a tradition in our home since before kidlets came along.

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tu

I love Peanuts™. Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was a BIG DEAL when their specials came on (had maybe three channels, and cartoons were not their forte). It became an even bigger deal after I learned English. They are timeless, and ageless as well. But this last time I came to the realization that I sat there, alone. And it wasn’t the first time I sat alone to enjoy a family tradition. Kids are growing up and away, becoming on their own, Hubby is stationed away so our youngest can remain in this school district, and youngest is busy with band and theater and myriad other activities. One would think that leaves me time to write, but actually the opposite is true. I can’t find the motivation to write fluff when it feels like loneliness is weighing down on my heart. Some days the absolute silence in the house reminds me of how the kids used to fight hammer and tongs and me screaming for them to SHUT IT. Now I wish I had that opportunity again, just to let them fight it out Coliseum style.

I can’t wait for Christmas 🙂

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How I Spent My Week Away From the Internet

Yes, I had a very good reason for being away. Eldest completed her classes and was now PCS’ing from the East Coast to the West Coast.

By minivan.

Which we, her parents, drove out in to pick her up, and to bring her home, and to take her to her next duty station. I have two words for y’all:

Never. Again.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the trip. Most of the trip to the East was very scenic, and some of it was downright wonderful. I got to see the U.S.S. Alabama from the bridge (had no time to stop), Lake Charles’ Hell Bridge (as I like to call it) and the Atchafalaya Basin, and the beautiful Magnolias of Mississippi. The trip out is a favorite of mine as well. I love driving the desolate areas of I-10 in Texas. I really do. New Mexico had awesome signs about watching out for snakes among other animalia as well as plenty of hot air balloons dotting the sky. Arizona had the misfortune of putting up with us experiencing a flat tire, but all in all it was a good drive.

Until I-8. I thought I-10 in Texas was desolate. That strip of highway made I-10 look like a booming metropolis. I asked the tow truck driver how people lived in such a desolate area and he said, “Very carefully.” Not soon enough we waved buh-bye to AZ and greeted California, which went from sand dunes, to rocky mountains to more mountains, to BOOM!!! cities. Seriously, we went around a curve and suddenly there was actual population clustered everywhere. And driving everywhere. For a state that frowns on emissions, it sure had a lot of drivers expelling it. Soon enough we arrived in San Diego….. and found out we were too early to check in. No matter, because we had a good friend waiting for us, none other than XBradTC, who was kind enough to meet us and show us a bit of San Diego before he had to leave for his home. I saw the Midway and enjoyed the views of the bay even though it was 66* F, which in my terms is parka weather, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner overlooking the water and a rather cloudy sunset which didn’t detract from its beauty. Aside from finally meeting XBrad, the best part was the gift he bestowed upon me:

vader kids book

I’m not sure if he is saying I am a princess, or if he is referring to my parenting style. Either way I was very touched to receive it, and I fully admit to laughing out loud while reading it at the coffee shop. Yes, people looked at me funny and I didn’t care. It was a wonderful day spent in a wonderful city and far too short. I can’t wait to visit Eldest again and take some time to see more of the West Coast.

But I will fly out next time 😀


The Best Way to Enjoy Snow

Well, best way to enjoy it outside of admiring it from afar, like in a photograph,while on vacation in Fiji.

My sister Reno Queen posted a delicious cocktail recipe on the social-site-with-faces last week that had me drooling. Being raised in Puerto Rico, I have a deep love and respect for the humble coconut, so I am overjoyed to post her contribution to my Pinterest Mixology board.

sex on the snow bank cocktail

Sex On The Snow Bank

  • 6 Large ice cubes
  • 1½ oz Malibu™ rum
  • 3 Tbsp. Cream of coconut
  • Shredded coconut, for garnish

Put all ingredients save the shredded coconut in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a cocktail glass (martini as shown is pretty) and garnish with some shredded coconut flakes. You can also rim the glass with the flakes but it can be overkill, not to mention a bit messy.

You can try this on the rocks instead and call it a K-12. Just don’t forget the TWO DOLLARS.

Sometimes I amaze myself 😉


Obsession is 9/10ths of the Paw

This past weekend I was lucky to host my brother and his lovely fiancée, along with Bradie the dog. She is my brother’s dog, but his fiancée is her human. Y’all know how it goes. Just as Lenny is Eldest’s dog, but I am her human. I think that is the most endearing quality of a canine. They claim a person as their own and there is NOTHING you can do to influence them out of it.

The same can be said about some people and fantasy football, but I digress.

Anyway, what made it interesting was the fact that they look so much alike we could barely tell which dog was which, unless they faced us. Lenny has a white patch on her chest, whereas Bradie is solid black. The dogs had a great time going after each other as alphas are wont to do, but their humans were not as pleased. And of course, getting confused as to which dog was which sometimes made them look at us like we were stupid, with head tilted and ear cocked for emphasis. All in all it was awesome, and now I understand what coveting really means.

bradie and blankie

I want that dog.

I want her with the burning power of a thousand Betelgeuses to seven orders of magnitude, times eleventy. And why do I want her? Because she is just like my Lenny. And you can NOT have too much of a good dog. You just can’t.

So be on notice, my brother. I will get your pretty dog, too 😀

 


Obligatory Best and Worst Presents of Christmas 2014

Hubby kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I’m at the age where I don’t need anything, but he is at the age where skipping on giving me a gift is downright dangerous. It never fails. I write a Santa’s List™ and you would think it’s written in Sanskrit from the way my family reacts. Again, what is so difficult about giving me PJs or knives or wineglasses?? In his defense he wanted to give me something I could use, and also something that I didn’t already own.

Behold the Precious!!!!

pink hoodie footie

He gave me the Hoodie Footie, not the gal. I have to say, I love that piece of cotton candy wannabe fluff. I had one a few years back but gave it to my German friend, who needed it waaaaay more than I did because, GERMANY. I admit there have been days when I wore it all day during the holidays. I am not ashamed. I love it with the burning of a thousand suns, though I am glad it’s not hot like a thousand suns because I want to keep snuggling in it and even call it Georgette.

That was the Best of this year. Normally I stop there, because I firmly believe there’s no such thing as a bad present. But this year tested the limit.

mini masher

That’s a mini masher. Not exactly a Worst gift. But it’s hard to appreciate it when it bent on first use, while using it to mash avocados. I wish I could say it was my indomitable strength, but I am trying to save y’all from spewing all over your keyboards. Still, better to be thought of than be passed over, right?

And what were your best and worst gifts this Christmas? 😀


What. A. Week.

I swear, every time I sat down to write something would take me away. I may not have much to say but I still want to type it out.

First, our trip to Eldest’s graduation was full of surprises. I had no idea that cold could possibly get colder, or that wind could get any windier. It was so cold and windy, the graduates were given outerwear and we had to wait for their leaders to collect their coats prior to commencement and at the end. Afterwards we enjoyed our crowded stay inside the NEX as we watched sn*w falling. Once we could make our way to the vehicle, our new sailor expressed her wishes for the day. My taste for coffee was challenged when we took her to Starbucks. She was dying for a fix, and I was dying for actual coffee which I didn’t find thus I had to settle for hot chocolate. Then my geography knowledge was challenged when I found myself willing to drive to Wisconsin. No, we didn’t stop for any cheese. But we did stop to take a picture with the sign. After that, we made our way to a mall where she could have another Starbucks fix and wander around, whereupon my shopping gene was challenged and kept under strict control. The following day we were fortunate enough to spend a few hours at the airport with her as well, before our flights departed, ours for home, and hers for her duty station. And through all of this, she is ecstatic to have her phone back.

Second, ever had to make a diorama? Remember the fun you had making a three dimensional scene? Me neither. Little One had to make a stage set to SCALE for her tech theater class. When I say to scale, I mean everything had to be measured and built from scratch. No cheating at the hobby shop. Her assignment was to detail a living room in a 1970’s mansion. Break out the velvet sofas and gold brocade walls, right? Good thing I had all that stuff in my craft room. No, not actual gaudy wallpaper but gold paint and velvet I had in spades. Then came the hard part: making furniture. If I never see another piece of cardboard it will be too soon. Unless it’s a box from the Lolita website. Then it’s ok.

Third, nothing like trying to organize Thanksgiving get-together while still in the middle of home improvements. Luckily all that will be over by next week. Especially if I can convince my sister Reno Queen to change out a couple of light fixtures. If she has time, that is. Otherwise I will deal with unsightly holes in the ceiling and candlelight, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

But the highlight of the week belongs to Son, who was named a National Merit Commended Scholar, earning him a scholarship due to his incredibly high score on the PSAT/ NMSQT. The first of many accolades to come for the brainiac, I’m sure. If only he would get his driver’s license….

So, that’s this week’s wrap-up from gloomy South Texas. We are headed for a massive amount of rain,which means I need to get in gear and do all the grocery shopping before that happens. I’m not fool enough to go out during a rainstorm. Flash flooding always, ALWAYS wins. Also, I don’t particularly care for the wet-cat-through-hedge look.

Have a great Friday 🙂


One Year Like Yesterday

It has been a year since my brother-in-law Draco passed away. Time has made it easier for us to bear the loss, and to enjoy thinking of his exploits and funny stories. I think he would have appreciated passing away on the anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning of the Star Spangled Banner, too. Draco always did have a flair for the dramatic, though he was careful not to show it. Unless it concerned a martini. Then it had to be the right glass, the right garnish, the right vermouth, even the right pick. He was hilarious.

Sometimes I am caught unawares and the pain of the loss grips me. I was cleaning out a closet and found a shirt he had left behind, and suddenly a torrent of tears let forth, taking me by surprise. Before she left, Eldest’s biggest regret was not being able to wear the bracelet Draco made for her while in basic. And today Texas A&M plays Rice University. He always looked forward to every game, but the Rice games were special, because of the band. Rice’s MOB is rather…. unique, to say the least!

Draco my brother, you are still missed every day. And not a day goes by that I don’t offer up a prayer in Heaven for you and know you are there, looking down and screaming at Manziel to get it together while giving Dallas a scritch. And I promise not to wear any Aggie or maroon stuff. We both know I can jinx it if I do. So, I shall make your favorite dish for dinner in your honor, and we will raise our glasses of lemonade and toast to your memory. We love you…. then, now, and always 🙂


Still Here, Sorta

These past few days have been a bit more hectic than usual. Eldest is getting ready to start her new adventure as a sailor, Son is beginning his senior year in high school, and Little One is in marching band. Meanwhile, I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that my baby is leaving in less than a month, so I have been reorganizing the house.

Room, by room.

It’s not easy. I keep finding baby photos, kids’ art, love notes, hospital ID bracelets (don’t ask), and sundry items detailing every year of their lives. I also found a pair of earrings I had been missing since 2009, so I have that going for me. Still, I need to find a better way to organize all of the mementos.

(We interrupt this post in order to pick up my new ceiling fan from Lowes, so have a funny.)

ruining games lol

Hopefully I will be back in the groove of spilling all sorts of weird crap entertaining y’all with my boring life exploits. Maybe. I am toying with the idea of moving Son to the upstairs and making his current room an office-slash-craft room. And perhaps I may get a formal dining set for the dining room, which currently holds the mouse cage and two kennels.

*sobs*

I just want my house to look normal. And don’t tell me that’s a setting on the washing machine. I watch HGTV.

So, lots on things on the horizon, mostly in the vain hope to keep from becoming too anxious over Eldest leaving home. And getting Son ready for college. And having to deal with Little One not being a baby any more. That usually calls for a box of Hostess™ Cupcakes. Thank goodness they are back because otherwise it would be a box of wine 😀


I’m Not Old Enough For This

I am a bit freaked out today. Today marks a turning point in my life, and as much as I wished to be ready for it, I don’t think I am. No, nothing bad has happened. Everyone is in good health and accounted for. Also, I have my vehicle back so I am once again mobile, as in mom taxi. No, I am simply overwhelmed by the fact that today is my Eldest’s 19th birthday.

woman crying

WHAT HAPPENED????

It was just a while ago that she was catching lizards and geckos outside. Wait, that was literally two or three days ago. But I still remember her coming to me and asking for a pony tail, and picking out her “on”*. I still remember her asking for her sippy cup. I remember going Easter egg hunting and finding ladybugs to catch instead. I remember her crawling into bed with us when she heard thunder. Now she runs outside to take photographs of rain clouds and lightning. It wasn’t too long ago that she was asking for my help in shopping. Now she drives herself and gets whatever she needs.

*sobbing uncontrollably*

I’m not old enough for this. She was the first to make me a mother, and the first to make her way into the world. Her path to adulthood has not been without mistakes, but she has learned from those pitfalls and in that she has shown a maturity that is beyond her years. My baby is growing up, and all I can do is kick her out of the nest encourage her to fly.

I’m not old enough for this. But I do have to accept it. I take comfort in the fact that I will always be her momma. She may think I am a fuddy duddy and don’t know what I’m talking about right now, but just wait. She will face up to my wisdom soon enough 😉

*An “on” is a pony tail holder or hair clip. When they were little, I would hold one up to the girls and ask, “Do you want this on?” They understood “on” to be the name of the item. And they do call them by that to this day 🙂


Family Reunion, Binding Since 1809

No, not since 1809. I’m pretty sure the reunions began in the 20th century. Still, Hubby’s family has hosted a reunion since well before I joined it, so it has that going for it. I think. Anyway, this past weekend was especially fun, since my sister-in-law came down for a visit and attended it as well.

family reunion

It was fun, but also very bittersweet. The group was smaller, and some were older, and others gone on. Remembering them was especially hard for some of us that had not attended the reunion in the past few years, but it was also a chance to make resolutions to not let time go by and try to keep in touch with extended family. It was also a chance to learn new things.

The EPA has only 200 armed agents in its Criminal Division.

Play-Doh™ colors fade after a few months.

One is never too old for Play-Doh™.

Lemon pound cake is the equivalent of crack.

First dibs is totally legal.

Memories become sweeter with time.

But most important, Time never stops for anyone. I still live with the regret of waiting to connect with someone because “there’s always next year”. Yes, next year is sure to come, but one isn’t guaranteed the chance. Don’t wait to do tomorrow what you can do today.

Unless it’s the dishes. There’s paper plates for that 🙂