Archive for the ‘daughters’ Category

White Towels

I’ve never been one to get white anything. No white clothes (except when I had an office job and wore white shirts with my pantsuit … yeah, about a gazillion years ago). No white blankets. No white houses. No white cars. No white. It’s just not something I would choose. I think it’s because there are so many colors and white is the absence of color.

So today I am using a white towel. I have two. Well, not exactly white. I’m dying my hair. It has been about nine months since I dyed it and it is now about three-fourths white. So it was more than time. I have to babysit for the next five days straight while my daughter is out of town so before I start that, I decided to spend an hour on myself to dye my hair. That’s when I pulled out my white towels.

White towels to dye my hair? I must be crazy!

It all goes back to when my daughter and I lived alone, just the two of us. I sent her in to Kmart one evening to get my a cheap towel to use to dye my hair. I didn’t want to use my pretty new yellow towels and ruin them. So she came out of the store and we drove home. When I got the towel out to start dying my hair, it was a white towel that she had picked. I asked her why white, was she crazy? She laughed her silly sixteen year old laugh and said, “It’s fun, mom! It starts out white and after awhile we will be able to see all the colors we used to dye our hair! Let’s see how long it takes until there’s no more white!”

I rolled my eyes but I couldn’t help laughing. So that was about ten or twelve white towels ago. Now, every time I have to replace one of my “hair dye towels” I pick white because it reminds me my silly teen aged Susie and I go way back to her giggle and sense of humor!

Okay, gotta go! My timer just went off so I have to go wash out the dye!

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I grew up without exposure to a lot of things: books, music (other than the mariachi music my parents listened to), art, theater, etc.    Until college, I had never been to the symphony, other than a field trip to the Young People’s Symphony when I was in sixth grade.  I had never been to any plays other than school plays.  I had never been to a concert of any kind.  I had never been to the ballet.

When I had my own kids, I wanted to expose them to as much culture as I could.  However, this proved to be difficult with three kids spread eight years apart.  I didn’t have a babysitter for them and their dad worked late almost every night.  He wasn’t one to go to plays or the theater so we couldn’t do it as a family.  I actually took the kids to a lot more cultural activities  after my divorce than I did before.

When my oldest daughter was about twelve, she wanted to go to see The Nutcracker.  I thought it was a good idea and so I got tickets for the three kids and myself to go.  Once I had the tickets, the other two kids didn’t want to go and Tina wanted to take a friend.  She picked one of my friends, Lori, to go with us.

After weeks of excitement, the night arrived and off we went to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to see the Bolshoi  Ballet perform The Nutcracker.  It was cold and wet and dark as we headed south on the Glendale Freeway and merged onto the 134 East.  That’s when it happened.  My tire blew.  I managed to keep control of the car while on the bridge connected the two freeways but I had to bring the car to a stop and the only place to do so safely, because of my reduced speed, was  ON and island between lanes of traffic merging from the north bound Glendale Freeway to the East bound 134 and the lanes of the 134.  I couldn’t stop any place else.  I had to cross two lanes of traffic to get to the call box as those were the days before most of us regular people had cell phones.  Once the CHP dispatched AAA to the scene, I had to go back across those lanes of traffic to get to the rest of us.  Remember, it was raining so I couldn’t stand out in the rain.  Twenty minutes later, the tow arrived, changed my tire, and we were on our way.

Of course, we were late so we had to sit in the back row until the intermission when we were seated in out third row seats!  I’m not sure how much of the performance I was even aware of as I was still in a bit of shock from our little emergency but I do know that the girls had a great time.  After the ballet, we went to dinner then we were finally able to head home where I could wind down.  It was all worth it though.  I had succeeded in taking the girls out to a cultural event that they really enjoyed.

The things we go through for our kids!

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My Girl

I really missed Susie today.  I always miss her but today she turned 19.  She’s all the way across the country in Baltimore so I couldn’t see her.  I did a good job distracting myself and keeping busy but tonight it is really getting to me.  And unfortunately, it will be a while before I can see her; maybe not until spring break.

Below you’ll find a picture of Susie.  It’s not a fresh one.  It was taken about two years ago on a trip to Los Angeles.  We stayed with a friend of mine and her little boy just fell in love with my Susie.  He wouldn’t leave her alone.  Finally, he got the courage to ask his mom if he could kiss Susie and his mom said he had to ask Susie.  He was thrilled when Susie said yes and made sure I took a picture.

Jayson kissing Susie

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Oh Mom!

Even during horrible times,  humor is sure to be present.

When my brother  died at the end of March, one of my jobs was to go through the tons of pictures my mother has collected over the past 60 years.  I was looking for pictures of my brother and of our family during happier times; pictures I would use for collages that I made for the memorial service.

I pulled out lots of very early pictures of my mom with my brother as a baby.  Carlos was the oldest of seven siblings so there were lots of pictures of him as a baby.  As other babies arrived, the pictures became fewer and far between.

One particular picture showed my mother at about age 18, holding my brother who was a few months old at the time.  She is standing next to a car, wearing a dress and a light coat, holding my brother.  It’s a black and white photograph; it was taken in 1950.  I thought it was a great picture so I had it scanned along with about 40 others and used it for the collage.

A week later, when I was back home, I was talking to my mother on the phone and when she asked me what I was doing, I told her I was putting together a CD with all the photos that had been scanned for the collages, along with a lot of pictures we had taken after the memorial service—pictures of my mom’s remaining four daughters, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren.  I told her I had promised to make multiple copies of the CD to give to each of the cousins.  She immediately went into her very serious mode and said: “I want you to do me a favor. There’s a picture of me holding Carlos when he was a baby and I want you to take it out of the CD and don’t ever give it to anyone.”  I asked her which picture it was and she described the one I described above.  I asked her why she didn’t want it on the CD.  “It’s a horrible picture.  My slip is showing.  There are a lot of better pictures you can use.  I didn’t know you were using that picture until I went to see the wall of pictures.  I was so embarrassed to see it up there.  I wanted to rip it off and tear it in pieces!”

So she made me promise that I wouldn’t show that picture to anyone.  I thought it was funny and didn’t remember that her slip was showing in it.  I went back to look at it and sure enough, her white slip was hanging out the bottom of the dark colored dress!

I still don’t think it was a horrible picture.  I would prefer to see the humor in it.  However, my mom was just horrified that anyone would see that picture.  It made me laugh and even now, I’m tempted to put that picture in here but I promised so you’ll just have to use your imagination!

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Eighteen years ago today, my daughter was born!  Susie weighed in at 8 lbs., 12 oz. and measured 23 ½ inches.  She was two weeks early, delivered by c-section.

It seems like yesterday that she was holding my hand and telling me that Susu did it (Susu being the inner part of her that she blamed for doing things she wasn’t supposed to).  I’ve seen her grow into a responsible and thoughtful young lady.  Of course, she has her moments and sometimes I think if she could blame Susu for some of the things she does, she would!

I won’t go on about her.   I’ll bore you but I will list some of my blog posts that are about Susie and some of the things she does.

Kids Say the Darnest Things

She Got the Wrong Mother

She Made Me Cry


I Created A Monster

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My cell phone rang at 1 AM. Very few people have my cell number and no one calls me at that hour. My heart stopped. It had to be an emergency. I looked at it and it was my daughter who was in the other room of the house. I figured she wanted me to fix her tea or bring her cold medicine as she has one of those yucky winter colds. I picked it up: (more…)

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Kitty Cat Troubles

Those of you that have followed my blog might remember that my daughter’s cat of 16 years died in September. She waited a while then finally got a new kitten at the shelter in mid October. We have all fallen in love with the kitten. He is an orange Tabby named Naranja (orange in Spanish, named by the staff at the shelter).

He was doing great but had diarrhea. We took him to the vet last week. He checked out fine. They gave us a flea treatment for him and a kitten de-wormer. That was last Wednesday. Late Sunday night my daughter came home from work and went into her room then I heard her start yelling to me that there was something wrong with the kitten. When I got to the room, he was at the food dish trying to eat but he was so weak that he couldn’t stand up. He kept flopping over to the side. We took him to the 24 Hour Vet Hospital. They said they weren’t sure he’d make it. His temperature was two full degrees lower than normal and his head was flopping side to side. He couldn’t track movement with his eyes. They put him on an IV to hydrate him and took some blood work. We left him there. Within the hour the vet called and said she thought she had found the problem. Naranja is anemic. So they gave him a blood transfusion and started him on medication. (more…)

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When my counselor called me in to tell me about tryouts for the Junior Miss Pageant. I considered it for just a few minutes, before putting it out of my mind. But, my sister knew. She was in the first year Journalism class which met at the same time and in the same room as the fourth year Journalism and Newspaper staff that I was in and she knew I had been called to the office for the pageant information. That night my mother asked me about the pageant because my sister had told her. I told her if I wanted to do it, there was an application to fill out and then I would have to show up at a meeting for information and an interview the following Saturday. She surprised me when she said I could go. I had not even thought of filling out the application. So when she said I could, I filled out the application and my mom signed it.

After making it through three rounds of pre-selection, I was officially one of twenty contestants for the pageant and I started to dream. The following month was filled with rehearsals, public appearances, including the Thanksgiving parade through the streets of downtown San Jose. I was also working part time at Sears, after school and some weekends. Luckily, I had committed to the pageant before committing to Sears so when they hired me, I told them up front that I was in the pageant and would need to work around pageant rehearsals. They agreed. My month was very hectic. It was a happy hectic. (more…)

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I discovered Moleskine notebooks about eight years ago. I love them. I love the way they look and the way they feel. I have never owned one. I have purchased them and given them as gifts but I have never allowed myself to indulge in their luxury and utility.

Moleskine notebooks were produced in France and used as the preferred notebook and sketchbook for legendary artists including Van Gogh who made sketches on Moleskine sketchbooks. So did Picasso and Matisse. Ernest Hemingway used Moleskine books to make notes and plot stories for his novels. He describes writing at a café in Paris, using his notebook, in Moveable Feast and in The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway is one of my favorite writers. How could I not be impressed by and drawn to Moleskine notebooks when they were once again produced in 1998, after being gone from the face of the earth for years?

If you’ve never seen one or touched one, you should jog down to your favorite book store and look for one. I know that chains such as Borders and Barnes & Nobel carry them. So do some of the smaller bookstores. I was recently (well last April) drawn to a display of Moleskine notebooks and “city books” at Powell’s Books in Portland. I really wanted to buy one and I did. I got the small pocket sized ones in a three pack. I gave them to my son who uses little notebooks for ideas and notes, even though he now has a great cell phone/PDA to do it on.

I had actually thought to myself that this year I might gift myself a Moleskine notebook for my birthday. I had rationalized it but I’m sure I would have backed off in the end. (more…)

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I had high hopes of having everything set for a smooth transition into this year’s NaNoWriMo (nanowrimo.org). I was going to do my shopping for lots of coffee and tea and things to eat that are easy to fix in twenty minutes or less. I was going to burn a couple of CDs with different music from what I used during my writing sessions during last year’s NaNoWriMo. I was going to sit back and relax on the 31st, saying I was all set for the 1st to arrive.

I didn’t do any of this. Life got in the way.

Some of you will know that my daughter had room mate problems after moving into a new housing situation and her room mates pulled the rug out from under her after a week and told her to move out. She came to my house. This is temporary. This is temporary. This is temporary. Excuse the repetition but this has become my mantra. She has been here for a week. In that week her former room mates continue to be jerks, moving all of her things outside into the carport. Her things include two tv sets which were left outside in full and plain view of everyone and anyone that happened to walk, run, jog, bike, or drive by. We’ve managed to bring everything and put it in my garage, however we don’t have any way of moving her queen size mattress, box spring, and bed frame, her couch or her 1950’s vintage formica table that seats eight. We have had glimmers of borrowing a truck or van only to not have anyone to do the lifting and moving. I can’t help her. I have back, knee, and neck injuries. So those things remain there, in full view of anyone that might want to go and get them. (more…)

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