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Archive for the ‘about me’ Category

Just when I thought things were turning around for me, health wise, they seem to have taken a side road. I might still be okay with things but I did take a detour.

Those of you that follow me on Facebook probably know that last week I ended up in the Emergency Room due to chest pain, numbness on my left side, and a rapid heart beat. After examining me, they admitted me for more tests. I spent two days there. At first they thought it was a stroke but tests showed it was not. Then they focused on my heart. We know I did not have a heart attack but we don’t know what caused the symptoms. The next step would be an angiogram  but because that is more invasive, they are holding off on that until we figure out if my symptoms will go away, stay the same, or get worse.

For now, I feel better and I am optimistic that things will improve. I am baffled by the symptoms. The rapid heart beat seems to come and go. The chest pains have stopped and the numbness is almost completely gone. They prescribed a medication to help my heart manage stress and some nitroglycerin pills. The thought is that if I get chest pain and the nitro helps it, it is most likely angina and they can treat that. If the nitro doesn’t help, then I have to get to the hospital as soon as possible and we’ll go from there.

It’s scary. I won’t deny that. I am trying to focus on the fact that I am feeling better and I am hoping that the symptoms won’t recur and trying to get back to the place I was when I wrote the previous post here about the little forward steps I was taking with my medical condition. Crossing my fingers. Saying some prayers. Shaking my head and wondering what else will go wrong!

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I’m in this Facebook group for Lularoe clothes. It’s a huge group and it’s fun. They have over nine thousand members and they run a lot of giveaways and fun participation stuff. There’s probably about five hundred of us that participate regularly.

Today, they asked a question about shyness. Are you shy? I had to think about it for a moment. I guess that I am initially shy but if I see that I have a role or a job, then I am not shy; I get in gear and come out of my shell.

It reminded me of some of the PTA dinners that I had to MC. I ended up doing it several times because the ones that were supposed to do it were too shy so I was asked to do it. It ended up being fun. Stressful but fun. They were award dinners that we put on each year to celebrate the volunteers that committed to and delivered fantastic service. I knew it was important to make the evening memorable. I had been the recipient of one or the other of the awards a couple of times and I wanted to make the evening special for the volunteers. So I went into action. First, I ordered one drink, usually my favorite, a Margarita. I walked up to the microphone and showed a bit of shyness and said I had to take a drink of my Margarita to give me courage so I took a sip of it at the microphone and went on. The evening was broken up into a number of speakers and presenters and I would come up after/before each one. I made it a point to come to the microphone with my Margarita and I made a show of taking another drink from my glass. Then the next time I would come up and say something about this is “three Margaritas so excuse what comes out of my mouth” or something like that. Each time I went up I would add to the number of Margaritas and I would carry my glass. It was funny and people laughed and marveled at how well I was handling all of the drinks. I think I made it up to about seven Margaritas before the last time up at the microphone when I appeared with a cup of coffee.

The joke was on the audience because while I definitely got courage from my “Margaritas,” I was actually not having any booze. I was always very careful not to drink in public, especially if I was going to be at the microphone. I had actually talked to the bar and wait staff ahead of time and arranged to have them bring me only virgin Margaritas, even if someone ordered one to send to me.

That was how I got over my shyness. Give me a microphone and a job to do and there is no shyness. Otherwise, you have to pull me out of my seat and drag the words out of my mouth. I’m THAT shy!

Okay, now to go find a Margarita!

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I think of that conversation often then over the past week, it seems to have come up several times. I suppose I should write about it and maybe that will release it.

I was talking to a new-ish friend the other day (on Facebook Messenger). We were kind of filling in our pasts as new friends do, catching up on things in our background. She asked me why I never remarried after my divorce. Why did I end up all alone at the age of 62?

Good question. The answer? I guess it was a choice. A choice that I didn’t realize I was making until it was too late. At the time of my divorce, I had three children, ages eleven, eight, and two. We didn’t live near relatives. I had a lot of friends but they were all married with their own family obligations so I had to rely on myself to take care of the every day needs of my children, as well as their long term needs.

And I couldn’t help but remember a conversation I had overheard years before. It was a conversation between my mother-in-law and my husband. We were visiting the in-laws and my mother-in-law asked my husband how his sister was doing. Was there anything new with her? We lived near his sister, about a four hour drive from my in-laws so we were often the go-between because we visited with them more often than she did. He told her that there wasn’t anything new with her. She was still working on her degree and taking care of her little girl. Then she asked about any new men. Was she dating anyone serious? They both went on talking about the “alphabet soup” that she dated. Apparently, in their eyes, she seemed to date a different person every few weeks, never staying with any one man for long. They kept referring to her dates as the alphabet soup and joking about the men. It was obvious to me that, in their eyes, it was a negative thing. They seemed to think that she was concentrating more on her dating than on her daughter.

I thought about it and it made a lasting impression on me. I’ve always been one to worry about what others say. I know that’s not important. I’ve learned it now but in those days, it was important. So when I divorced, I was determined to put my children and their needs ahead of any needs I might have. So I didn’t date. I kept busy with my children and when they were with their father on Wednesday nights and alternate weekends, I visited with friends from my kids’ elementary school. There was a group of us that were all divorced and we would get together at the home of one friend who was married. We would eat and drink and talk and her husband taught us to play poker one night. On weekends I just stayed at home, sleeping in and watching movies I couldn’t watch when the kids were home. Years later, I had a friend from college that would come over on Wednesday nights and I would cook dinner for him and we would talk and listen to music. He would stay the night and leave early the next morning so he could make it to work on time. Once in awhile, I would have alumni functions on weekends so I would attend those and sometimes cook for those. I got a reputation for being a good cook so I was the one that did all the cooking for our functions. I would always go alone and come home alone. I didn’t want anyone to say that I was dating an alphabet soup or that I was ignoring my children’s needs. They were my top priority. Anything I needed or wanted, came last.

And, if I am being honest about it, I was protecting myself from hurt. I had been severely broken, and profoundly hurt when my husband went straight from my house to his secretary’s. Yeah. I thought he was better than the stereotype but I was wrong. So I protected myself by not ever letting myself get involved with anyone. For a long time his leaving us made me question my judgement. How could I have been so wrong about him? And more importantly, how could I trust myself to be a good judge of anyone else?

And here I am. Twenty-six years later. Alone. No pets. No one here but me. Few friends and most of those are “virtual friends.”  No alphabet soup for me.

Some conversations stay with us for a long, long time.

 

 

 

 

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About Me

I have blogged for many years before landing at WordPress in 2007 and I haven’t ever written an About Me page. I find it difficult to write about myself. I’m not a “self promoter” so there’s that. I’ve struggled with what I want to say and I’ve come close to actually sitting down and doing it for several years but it hasn’t happened until now, 2016!

So who am I? I’m Corina. I was born on Christmas Day (in 1955) so my mom gave me a Christmassy middle name: Joy. I’m a lot of things which include: a mom; a nana; a forever learner and former teacher; a writer and reader; a helper, forever volunteering; a blogger; a Tarot lover and collector of Tarot decks; an optimist; a friend; a daughter; a sister; a mother-in-law; a thinker.

Those are a lot of words to describe me but I can’t help but feel that they don’t really give you a view of who I am. I guess for that, you’d have to read some of my blog posts. If you do, you might learn that I love to read Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. I love the Godfather trilogy. My all-time favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I love Tex-Mex music, Latin jazz, and the Beatles! I love coffee and wine and more recently, I have enjoyed beer tastings and making my own flavored vodka!

You would also read about some health issues that I struggle with and you would read that I am fighting them as best I can. I’m not going to let anything get me down, if I can help it. I love to take hikes with my grandson. We go up in the forests around Portland, Oregon which is where we currently live. He’ll be 6 in 2016. It’s one way I have changed after a particularly difficult health challenge which had me in the operating room in April of 2015. Now I want to enjoy every moment possible and I often find myself overdoing…accepting too many things…because I don’t want to miss one single moment.

I guess I can add to this or you can come along and read my posts. Or better yet, both! I hope you’ll find somethings to think about and laugh about in the many posts here. You’ll probably find some things that might make you wipe away something moist, too. In any case, you will probably discover that I’m loyal. Stick with me and I’ll stick with you.

See ya in the blog world!

CJC1225

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1. My favorite number is 5 and any other number with 5 in it.
2. I am 5 feet tall. That’s it. Not 1/8th of an inch taller or shorter.
3. I love to dance but I haven’t danced in a long time…long, long time.
4. For about ten years, I was the one that cooked all the food for the Christmas party for the Stanford Chicano/Latino alumni association. We had anywhere from 100 to 150 people each year. That meant that I cooked for days. Mostly I made tamales (usually 3 different kinds), and chicken enchiladas. I sometimes also made menudo. If you don’t know what menudo is, you’re missing out.
5. If you haven’t guessed, I love to cook.
6. When I was in high school I worked in the attendance office after school every day. I operated the old fashioned PBX board (switch board) with over 150 lines going out and 8 incoming lines. I once accidentally disconnected the Principal when he was on an important call with the school district. He was not happy and made sure I knew it.
7. Although I was born and raised in San Jose, I lived in Glendale, California for 26 years before moving to Santa Rosa, California for 4 years.
8. I was trained as a rape crisis counselor when I lived in Santa Rosa.
9. I volunteered to answer the 24 hour rape crisis hotline. I worked the night shift (9 PM to 6 AM) for eight months before I had to quit (because I moved out of state).
10. While it was one of the most important volunteer positions I have ever held, it was also one of the most heartbreaking.

To read more about me:
10 Things About Me #1
Ten Things About Me #2

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1. My all time favorite movie is The Godfather. I love all three in the trilogy but if I had to pick just one, it would be the original one with Marlon Brando as Don Corleone. I’ve loved it since I was in tenth grade when it was released and one of my favorite teachers spent two class periods talking about it.
2. My all time favorite novel is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I saw the movie when it came out. I was about 6 years old and identified with Scout. Then later on, in middle school, I picked up the book and read it for the first of many times.
3. I was born on Christmas day.
4. My middle name is Joy (as in Joy To the World, says my mom).
5. I love to laugh but I don’t do it often enough. I’ll have to work on that.
6. I worked at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, California during the summer of 1976 which was our bicentennial year in the U.S.A. It was a very busy tourist season that year.
7. I met my (ex) husband as part of my work-study in college. He was president of one of the law student organizations and I was one of their part time secretaries.
8. My first job out of college was working for Prudential Insurance at their big historic building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. I was on a team that wrote the brochures describing the benefits (and restrictions) in each policy (known as the Benefits Description Unit).
9. I worked as a teacher aid in a first grade classroom in Santa Monica, California. It was a job that I fell into by accident when I called the school district to volunteer to help in a school and they put me to work as a paid employee!
10. One of the last jobs I had that I truly enjoyed was teaching English to adult non-English speakers in night school. They were there because they wanted to learn so it made it fun. I had some of my own daytime classroom students’ parents and grandparents in my night time class. I wish all students were as willing to learn as those adults were!

To read Ten Things About Me #1, go here.

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My hair is very gray. I usually dye it about every three months. I do it myself, at home. I found a dye recently, well less than a year ago, that is much better than what I was using. It is a foam in product that is much easier to apply and to see where you have applied it to and where there is no product, which means that you don’t have those “untouched” spots that translate into dyed dark hair (deepest brown is my natural color) with a lot of gray peeking in here and there. At $10 an application, it is more than twice what I pay for the other stuff that leaves gray in but it is well worth it. Plus it leaves my hair conditioned and feeling great!

I haven’t dyed my hair since Thanksgiving. That means that it is almost completely gray all over, down to my shoulders where there is still some of the dark coloring left down to my mid-back. I toyed with the idea of letting it go completely gray but I’m not ready for that. My daughter agreed that it’s not time yet. You see, I’m 59 years old. With my gray hair I look like I am well into my 60’s. With it dyed, I look late 40’s. No brainer. I decided to dye it.

Today is my grandson’s last day of pre school. He begins kindergarten in September. There will be a little presentation of certificates and pictures. I decided that today I was taking myself back. It has been a really rough three months and I am ready to start being myself again. So I rummaged through the cupboards looking for the good dye package but didn’t find any. However, I did find the old stuff that doesn’t cover the gray well. It was after midnight so I decided I would use the yucky stuff just this one last time. Maybe I should have waited until this morning or gone out at midnight. When I washed it out and dried my hair, I could definitely see a lot of gray. It seems that I left a lot untouched just below both temples. Then I realized that I only got the surface so when it is moved slightly out of the way, all the gray is underneath!

Oh well! It will have to do. It will wash out in less than a month anyway and by then I will have gotten to the store for the better stuff. I think I’ll stock up on it.

Then came the clothes. At about 75 pounds lighter than I was in April, nothing fits. I have two pair of leggings that fit loose but well enough to wear. I also have two pair of jeans that fit kind of baggy but they don’t fall down! So that’s what I have been wearing around the house. To go out though, I had my daughter take me to the store where I found two pair of nicer pants, not leggings and not jeans, that sort of fit. They were on clearance and then half of the clearance so I paid about $16 for the two pair. I’m wearing the dark blue ones today. The tops are harder to find so I dug through boxes of clothes that never made it to the Goodwill donation center, clothes that were too small when I was so much bigger. I found a few that looked less larger than others and gave them a fresh washing. One in particular is kind of gathered with elastic at the sides, creating a waist. That one is not huge on me. It’s a size or two too big but it doesn’t look like I’m a two year old playing dress-up in my mommy’s clothes. So I’m set. I’m stepping out! It’s only to my grandson’s pre school graduation but it means a lot to me.

I’m taking myself back. I’m ready to. My mind is anyway. My body isn’t entirely ready and I will have to remember to not over do things but I’m not waiting. I’m coming out, not as the sickly shell of who I used to be, but as the person that is looking forward to so much more than doctor’s appointments and medicines and fear of the cancer recurring. I’m not thinking of that today. Today is about an ending and a beginning.

I’m ready.

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