Weekly Photo Challenge: Celebration


Every New Year we like to make Mexican Buñuelos and hot chocolate (abuelita), a Mexican Tradition. Mine often come out more like sopapillas (more like fried bread instead of thin and crispy.) we don’t mind though because it is just as yummy!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Family


This weeks challenge was fun because I finally got a chance to sit down and organize my family photo album. I found so many old memories and it was pretty hard to select just a few.

 In this first image we have my son with our two mini-dachshunds. The day I brought these brothers home, my son was crazy for them. His exact words, “This’ll be a day we’re never going to forget!” He quickly bonded with Reece’s, the chocolate one and has been completely responsible for him since day one.  These doxies are going on 3 years and silly as ever.  Reece’s loves to play “sniff/fetch” . This is where we hide a toy and watch him literally go into non-stop SNIFFer Mode until he finds it. And he always does! Chikko is the little dappled one. He was the runt of the litter and is a good 2 lbs smaller than Reece’s. Because he is so small combined with the dachshund physique (short & stout with an almost regal, protruding chest), He trots about aloof except with a goofy grin. He gets all the attention when we travel because of his unique markings. Reece’s is just fine with that. Reece’s is only concerned with my son. They truly are a joy and have taught us so much about life.

Why I want to be more like my dog:

  • They wake up every morning with an abundant zest for what the day will bring, That is LIVING!
  • There is practically nothing we could do that would stop them from loving us, that is unconditional love in its simplest form. Who said love had to be complicated anyway!
  • There is not a day that goes by that they do not put a smile on our face. They remind me daily to attempt to put a smile on someones face.

I took the next photo at a local water reservoir we like to call a “lake” (Lake Hefner. ) The reservoir is surrounded by walking and cycling trails, a golf course and eateries, along with scenic vistas. My son loves to peer through the telescope to see what’s going on the other side of the lake. I picked this as one of the pictures for this challenge because one of my dearest friends is standing with him and enjoying his excitement. Isn’t that one of the main things families do for us? They are present to bear witness and take part in our journey. The events we experience in life are not worth experiencing alone. That is why we are blessed with family.

This brings me to my last image which is bittersweet. In making this photo I managed to break a very special hand mold that my son made when he was six years old. It truly broke my heart to see it shatter because of my butter fingers, agh!  This is an image of some of the items my son has made for me in the recent years. My personal favorites are the clay rose he gave me for mother’s day and the mobile made of popsicle sticks and a hanger.  Only family would see the true value in these items. Family looks beyond your limitations and sees your potential. Family embraces your ideas and realizes their worth. Family cherishes your every  achievement, no matter how mundane. Cheers!

Reprogramming: Socially Stunted?


I hate to admit that I am painfully awkward in social situations.  An endearing comparison would be Bridget (Bridget Jones Diary). Don’t we all run into those awkward situations? I walk away scratching my head and saying “Why didn’t I say…” I seriously used to be good with people but all of a sudden, people started acting weird. It’s not me, it’s them! Ok, so it’s not just them…

 One day my son was invited to a sleep over and I agreed that he could go. I hadn’t realized that the child’s mom wanted to have a social visit. I got there to drop him off and she was outside waiting for me. I though to myself, this is a good time to ask her about her sons’ birthday gift. So I got out of the car for a quick greeting. As soon as I got out of the car I could smell a BBQ. She comes over to me and hands me a spritzer and tells me “we are all out back; I didn’t want you to think we weren’t here if no one answered the door.”

Okay, this is where I wanted to make a run for it. But you can’t just do stuff like that…right? So I follow her around to the back where we meet a bunch of people I do not know. They seemed nice enough. So this guy (with an overly enthusiastic look on his face) comes over to me, “Hi I am Steve! So, are you Native American?” I get that a lot.

I tell him “nope. I am 100% Mexican.” So he gives me The Look. I call it the Mexican=Illegal look. Yup, I tend to carry this chip on my shoulder. I start to feel a bit uncomfortable. so I ask him, “What are you?” This time I get the surprised look.

“Oh… no,” says the man of many expressions, “I just don’t think you look Mexican,” Almost as if that was a complement!

 Determined to make my point, I ask “Are you Irish, Swedish, Polish…Italian?”

Confused he stammers, “I have a little German”. “A little? What else?” I coax. I get a contemplative stare. “Well then, the only difference between you and me is that I know my bloodline.” (with a bit of a neck roll I leave him with a dumbfounded expression) I let the hostess know that I just received a text that I have to leave due to a non emergency…emergency.

Okay, so when I left I was no longer hungry and I think I was vaguely nauseous. I started replaying the scene in my head. Was I too harsh? Was he just trying to start up a conversation? How could I have changed this outcome without being defensive? I could have gone along with Native American; I have done that one before. I should have just made light of the question right? A joke, something like, “I am not an illegal one.” Or “Yea, I keep my sombrero and pancho in the closet so no one will find out my secret” I thought of so many more offhanded comments that I could have made and then moved on to enjoy the evening. Yep, not me! I often make the aggressive, “I’m righy, your wrong” choice. Maybe it’s my way of getting out of uncomfortable conversations.

My goal is to improve my interactions with people. I want to push through my initial negative reactions toward more positive outcomes. I can do this!

Life Is An Echo

What you send out – comes back.

What you sow – you reap.

What you give – you get.

What you see in others – exists in you. ~Pravs J

Finding New Ways to Smile: My New Favorite Toy


In February I purchased a Windows 7 phone (Samsung focus). As with new technology it has taken time for me to understand the capabilities of this phone.  This is a phone has a very “minimalist” style that is seamlessly integrated with things like social networking, location-based services and windows live services. The best part is that since purchasing this phone, I have discovered the wonderful world of digital media. More specifically, MUSIC!

I usually enjoy music when I am doing something I don’t like to do…like, dishes, laundry, or any housework for that matter! Before getting, my precccioussss, I resorted to FM radio and online streaming…which worked fine. That was THEN.  My new phone recognized all the media files on my computer and I can pick which files to sync to my phone. That was nice enough, right?  I can carry my media library on my phone, not bad! But then I realized that my car had an mp3 jack and I was ecstatic to find that I could play my favorite 90’s hits in full stereo sound, on my way to work! That’s not it, I was able to get access to all this media via XBox (nicely hooked up to my entertainment system) just by logging into my Zune account! Voila! Technology is awesome! Since then this 30 something feels cool again! I have been  listening to all  my old favorites in full quality sound! Not exactly the best thing for my pocket-book (had to buy a subscription to Zune and Xbox live, not to mention the music I have purchased) but it has been great fun.

Today I downloaded “legends”, Bob Marley’s greatest hits. I forgot how good his music made me feel. My favorite Marley song is “One Love”. Today I was in such a good mood that I deep cleaned my bathroom and my kitchen, then did some dance central “hey Mami” (don’t judge me). Music really is a great way to put a smile on anyone’s face!