Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Unfinished Projects

I have two projects that mi chica and I had planned and I intend to finish them. The first one is to finish the wall in the den. As you remember when the kids moved out we started re-decorating the house to suit our needs and likes. The entertainment center was pushed back to the den and the wall to the back yard was pretty bare. We wanted a table and a big picture to make a big impact.

So, my daughter's boss printed the image of our family portrait from last year's Thanksgiving on canvas and it was huge. I had pretty good contacts at Hobby Lobby from buying so much from them last year that my framer did most of the labor for free while all I had to do was purchase the custom frame where it would be mounted. It took a while to get done but when I finally got the phone call letting me know it was ready the anticipation was just too much.

I could not believe how big it looked when they carried it off the store for me. To say I was satisfied with it is an understatement. The portrait which has every member in my little family including the three cooking on those crock pots also happens to be the last family picture Sylvia would appear in. As a matter of fact she is the one that pretty much directed the whole photo shoot on that day and as you can see the results were totally awesome.

In honor of her is that this beautiful portrait now regally hangs in our den.

The image doesn't do it justice but notice how it takes pretty much the whole wall.

The second part of this project will consit of finishing the area under the portrait. Maybe a table with some cool looking stuff on it. Yeah, I have some good ideas and soon it will be finished.

The second projec was to make her home office as confortable as possible. Well it's now my office and I still intend to make it as confortable as possible. We had an empty wall in front of the desk and as we spend so much time in this office we wanted a TV in it. So I planned this whole shelf that would house all my DVD collection and my die cast car collection. She enthusiastically gave me the thumbs up on the project.

Again thanks to my brother in law who is very handy with wood, he built the custome shelf exactly as I wanted it.

The empty wall. Notice we had a cable jack mounted on the wall.

And here it is again with the shelf already anchered to it.

And here it is almost fully loaded. The center hole will soon house a 32" plasma or LCD mounted on the wall. That will finish the project.

I will post another picuture once the TV goes in.

Pretty cool isnt' it?


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"F" Is For Family


You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Sorry for missing last week's letter "E" I totally spaced it and no one reminded me. lol


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just Call Me Spike

And so this morning I asked my wannabe chia-boy that it was time to go get him a haircut. He has been getting his hair buzzed since he was little but now he wants to try something different. Isn't it funny how eventually they do develop a brain and thus their own ideas come out. So off we went to the barber shop.

Here's my indio on the before pictures.

"So, how do you want me to cut it?" asked the guy. After I explained what I wanted the guy went to work and I think overall he did pretty good. At first I was hesitant because the last time I was there this same guy did my hair and I was not too happy with the outcome. But I kept checking on him and I saw he did take his time and actually didn't do too bad. In the end I was happy.

Well if the smile is any indication I would say he did like his haircut.

So the lady manager asks me if Diego is my son. Oh not he is my grandson, one of seven, she just opened her eyes as if she thought I was kiddin'. Ummm I take that as a compliment. She asked Diego if he liked his haircut and he said yes. Good answer mijo you just scored a lolly pop and some of that color jell that will make your hair look like you are a porcupine.

I was going to take some candid camera photos as I spotted him playing with the puppies but he spotted me first and of course came to the window. I still snapped a couple shots.

A pit stop to eat at Wendy's and our morning outing was done. We always have such good fun when we are out painting the town. Diego may only be six years old but he acts way older than his age and it's easy to treat him as if he was an older kid, but yet he does make sure to let you know he is a kid. He is a very smart kid indeed. Either that or he is playing me real good and I'm a sucker. ---- Ummm, naw!

And here he is playing with his and his sister's puppies.

Yes Wanda, hard to believe but at least temporarily there are puppies in my house. lol


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh Food How I Love Thee

My sister Chely and my sister Elena both busy in my kitchen cooking away.

My little sister is visiting us and will spend the whole week here most likely jumping from one house to the other. She got here Sunday night and right away we made plans for her to come cook for me. In my last visit to Californian she was telling me about this dish she makes called "Carne En Su Jugo" (meat in it's own juice). Well I found out later that she lied as the carne is not only in its own juice but lot of good and tasty stuff went into it including a home made salsa, and two cans of beans along with a plethora of condiments for flavor and a whole pack or bacon. I'm afraid to weigh myself today, don't really want to know how many pounds I gained. Let me just tell you, it was very, very tasty and Daddy Chef has plans of reproducing it in the near future.

My mom joined the group during the commercials. A great cook herself she was trying to learn something new.

It's a good thing I am walking so that I can burn the calories, because with as many offers and invites to lunch and dinner as I am getting I really need to keep up with the routine. The main culprit (I'll just call her mom) to conceal her identity is finally realizing that just because I can eat a dozen tortillas with my meals which she cooks three times a week for me I can do just fine with say four of them. She is like, but mijo you still have so much food on your plate and then without warning wham, another set of tortillas would appear before me.

My sister, my brother in law, my daughter, all have jumped on the bandwagon of feeding me. (Wow I make it sounds like they are on a case of feed the hungry -- lol) But I am not complaining and or stopping anybody from doing that. On the contrary, both me and my tummy thank you.

And here it is, "Carne En Su Jugo". I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted.

So just so you all know, right now I have the rest of my week covered. Today, tomorrow, and Thursday at mom's, and Friday I have a date with my son. Saturday dinner at my house and Sunday... Wow! Sunday is open, unbelievable.

Let me just finish warming these tortillas and I will join you.

I did get a couple of recipes sent to me now the task is just to find the time to try them. At the rate I'm going, that may not happe anytime soon. But I know eventually I will try them and when that happens I'll let you all know how that went.

Here's my plate. This is me getting seconds already.

Afterwards, while my mom watched her telenovelas, we had some coffee, with lemon pie, accompanied by great conversation and more picture snapping. All in all a fun afternoon.
Thank you mom, sisters, and bro in law we must do this again soon.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


There may be one or two more chapter/episode from the "Life's a Dance" writing that I been posting here. Most of you that have been following it already know that this was not written recently but almost five years ago. However most of what you've been reading is pretty much a transparent representation of what our current state of mind and level of life was. Our last big fight or disagreement happened around the year 2000 but once we re-committed to each other we spent all of our time and energy concentrating on having a good life as a couple and trust me what glorious last ten years we had. We learned more, loved more, and lived more than we had in the past.

So here's the next piece of the story, this one although brief it touches on what was a huge highlight in our lives.


And so in an intimate family gathering held at my mom’s house surrounded by our son and his wife, our two daughters and their husbands, and our five grandchildren Sylvia and I said, “I do” all over again. Seems it was only yesterday when we said those two little words and yet a quarter of a century has passed.

God has given us so much that I am ashamed we have abandoned him so much. The ceremony performed by Father Helios was an eye opener, his words though beautiful said a truth we did not want to hear but that needed to be reminded, it was a good time to reflect on our past and to see if we need to make any adjustments or changes as we head to our future. Father Helios was able to remember Sylvia’s mom and my dad and made us feel as they were there with us blessing our renewed commitment to keep going on.

I certainly was a blessing to have my mom and Sylvia’s dad present, Don Sixto looked just as good as he did 25 years ago when he walked Sylvia down the aisle except this time around he just walked her out the living room to the patio where the mass was celebrated.

Anybody that knows Father Helios will know that he is a very good priest that puts so much attention to detail, from his singing to his melodic sermons where he makes us repeat his sentences over and over again. The mass was about 40 minutes long but thanks to him it felt, as it was shorter.

A touching moment that will last in my mind forever is when he called our kids and told them to kneel in front of us so that they could receive our blessing. Both Sylvia and I took turns blessing each one of them, naturally some tears were shed but you can rest assured that they were tears of happiness.

What followed was also a beautiful moment as my niece Marya sang her rendition of “The Ave Maria” as we received communion. More than one pair of eyes showed that sparkle that only comes when a tear makes its presence known. Sylvia’s and mine were just inundated with tears so if we looked like we sparkled now you know why.

Thanks to all of our family members and friends that joined us in such a joyous occasion, your presence meant the world to us, and to the ones that could not attend know that we still had you in our hearts thus making us feel as if you were there celebrating with us.

So as Sylvia and I head towards our future we invite you to keep being such a crucial and important part in our lives. With your help another 25 years should be a breeze.

So, we had found the formula we needed to make that possible. Given the chance, the next 25 years would have been a breeze. We were making sure of that on a daily basis. But when orders from higher authorities manifest themselves before us, we must submit and accept. For those of us left behind until our time comes family, family unity, and family values continue to be our set goal to pursue and strive for.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


"D" is for Dad.

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
~Clarence Budington Kelland


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Alexis Is My Guest Blogger


This is my niece Alexis. Alexis is the daughter of "mi chica's" younger sister and she also happened to share birthdays with her. There definitely was a bond between aunt and niece and today Alexis is my guest blogger, but you can also find her in her own blog "Where's my mind? Right Here". Alexis happens to be a very good writer and you will enjoy her posts.

Alex as we all call her wrote an essay for school that in essence is a tribute to Sylvia or as all of you knew her "mi chica".

I'm sitting upstairs right now, and (because it's a disease, I swear!) I'm being nosy. My mom is on the phone, and I don't know who she's talking to, but she's talking about Tia Sylvia. Telling whoever is on that other line what happened that very long month ago. Listening to her talk, I can just hear all the wisdom that Tia Sylvia left her. It's just in her voice. Hearing this, it reminded me of the essay that I got back recently. It was my AP English Summer Assignment and we had to write a Narrative Essay. Being the procrastinator that I am, I didn't actually do it during the summertime. Instead, I waited until Winter Break, hoping that I'd think of something to make up, just to get a grade. Unfortunately, this was around the time that Tia Sylvia passed away. The day after all the family had left, everything felt so empty. I just wanted to get all my thoughts out, so I started writing. Writing, writing, writing. When I got this essay back, among the many notes that my teacher wrote, she asked, "Did you share this with your family?" So here's the time where I want to share what I wrote about just days after the funeral.



Death is a strange thing. One minute, a person is living their normal life, doing their daily activities, spending time with loved ones, when all of a sudden, Death unexpectedly swoops in. Oh Death, with it’s spontaneity and cruel sense of humor. It lures millions into thinking that loved ones won’t die, that Death won’t happen to anyone around them. Then it takes someone away, leaving everyone in shock. I, too, was part of the majority that’s lulled into this false sense of security. Sure it had happened to friends, and of course I would hear about it in the news. Yet I was still in that perpetual state of denial. I would think to myself, that won’t happen to me. I love and need my family and my friends, so they’ll never be gone. I went 17 years thinking that way. Day by day, I went on thinking that I was just “lucky.” My “luck” ended when I got the worst kind of reality check.

December 21st had been a great day. It was my best friend’s birthday so I spent the majority of the day with her, celebrating her 17th birthday. I came home at around ten and as usual, spent time with my mom. We discussed plans for Christmas and New Year’s, told each other about our day, and at around midnight, we eventually went to sleep. I was in a deep, warm, peaceful sleep, having dreams that I would never remember when all of a sudden I heard a voice and felt a hand shaking me awake. I reluctantly opened my eyes to see the blurry outline of my younger sister, Paula. As I tried blinking the blurriness and sleep from my eyes, she began trying to explain something to me. Being disoriented, I wasn’t understanding, and getting a little frustrated that I had been awoken from my great sleep. I asked her to just tell me what she wanted. She said, “Mama needs you.” The second I heard that, I knew something was wrong. The tone of her voice was different from usual and right after that thought occurred, I heard the sound of sobbing coming from upstairs. I sat up so quickly that my head spun, but I didn’t care. I needed to get to my mom and find out what was wrong. I sprinted up the stairs, looking every which way to see where she was. The sobbing was coming from the direction of her room so I rushed over. As I was going down the hallway that leads to her room, I saw her slowly walking out of her room. When she was in the frame of the door, she saw me. We stared at each other for a couple seconds, and in those few seconds, I knew something horrible had happened. My heart felt as if it was beating in my throat, I could hear my pulse, I held my breath in anticipation. The words that came next were in slow motion. “Your Tio Joe just called, he said he had to take your Tia Sylvia to the hospital. She didn’t make it. She died! Oh God, I just can’t believe it, she died!” It didn’t make any sense to me. I was in disbelief. Someone so strong, so full of life, someone I had just seen the day before couldn’t have possibly passed away. I tried to push those racing thoughts aside as I tried to console my mom. I made her sit down and I hugged her for a very long time as she sobbed into my shoulder. After about five minutes, her crying slowed and I knew she was trying to be strong for all of us. “I need to go to the hospital. I need to be there with everyone, see how they’re all doing.” She whispered. “I don’t think I can drive, I’m going to have to call your Dad. I hope he hasn’t gone into work yet.” She stood up, but I was frozen in shock. I sat there on the floor as I watched her try to pull herself together and get ready for the hospital. I sat there, still, as she called my dad and asked him to pick her up. Finally, in frightened words trying to be smothered by bravery, my mom announced that she would be home soon and she would call me when things were figured out. I gave her a hug and off she went. I looked out the window as my mom got into my dad’s car and sped away. My mom had left and it finally hit me. My Tia was gone. Tears immediately started trickling down my face. I lied down on the couch and cried my eyes out. I sat there for three hours straight, just crying. So much time had went by and no phone call. Finally, at 10 AM, my mom called me. My Tia had gotten up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. For some reason, she got really dizzy and called for my Tio. When my Tio ran to the bathroom, she had fainted. He checked her pulse, it was very faint. Acting quickly, he rushed her to the hospital. When they got there, they had tried reviving her for about an hour, but there was nothing that they could do. She was gone. This was the first time that someone close to me had died.

I went 17 years never truly experiencing the loss of someone close to me. It hurt so much, I couldn’t even believe it. It seemed as if I was standing in the middle of a room and everyone around me was rushing, rushing, rushing. Never stopping. Constantly making plans. Everyone kept talking about wakes and funerals. In reality, I didn’t even really know what that was. I’d never been to that sort of thing. I only knew what I saw in the movies. It was so strange to hear my mom and her nieces talk about how they were going to dress my Tia. Talk about how they were going to do her hair. Everything was so surreal, but I knew I had to snap out of my shock and start preparing myself for all the emotions that were headed my way. Within the next three days, I felt as if I had prepared myself. I was prepared for all the emotions that would be flying around and I wasn’t going to let them get to me. That’s the way I felt...until the second I walked into the funeral home. My mom and I were the first ones there because she had to make sure everything was in order. I slowly approached the casket, not knowing what to expect. When I finally got up to the casket, all the emotions that I had prepared to block out came flooding back in. I stared at her and cried. I remembered all the good times that I had with her. I especially remembered my 17th birthday, the birthday that we shared, when she gave me the most beautiful gold ring with our birthstone, topaz, in the middle. I clenched that ring in my fist as if squeezing it would somehow bring her back. I continued staring down at her and she looked so beautiful in her 25th anniversary wedding dress. I was happy that she still looked like herself. Everyone around me kept touching her hands, but I didn’t. I knew that feeling the skin that was once so warm but was now icy cold would ruin this illusion that she was only sleeping. It’s funny how if your mind wants something bad enough, it starts trying to make it reality. I kept getting this feeling like she was about to jump out of the casket and yell “Just kidding!” And for a split second, I thought I saw the steady rise and fall of her chest, as if she was breathing still. Strange as it is, this gave me hope and I knew that at that exact moment she was looking down on all of us and was so proud of the strength she had helped us build.

The day following the wake was the funeral. It started off with a beautiful mass at St. Vincent De-Paul. My Tia had just recently started reading the Bible again and she had bookmarked her favorite passages. The majority of those passages were about love and family, the things she held most near to her heart. They were all read aloud in a mix of English and Spanish. After the mass, the families all piled in their cars and followed the hearse to the Holy Cross Cemetery. The cemetery felt so relaxing. The second I stepped in there, I felt at peace. In it’s own strange way, it was beautiful. The grass was so green, especially in contrast to the cloudy sky. I could see headstones from what seemed like miles. The best part of all, though, was the myriad of flowers that visitors had left at the gravestones. It looked like a garden. We all gathered around the area my Tia was to be buried and waited for the hearse to arrive. When it arrived, all the men in the family stepped forward and each lent a hand to help carry. Even my younger brother, a little 11 year-old, was by my dad’s side, helping. The casket was gorgeous, something I had not noticed the day before. It was stark white with the biggest flurry of the reddest roses on top. The handles on the side were the shiniest of silvers and the one thing that really completed this picture was all the men carrying it, becoming one force. Like the mass that was held, the funeral was beautiful as well. The Priest from the church was there and read some more passages from the bible. When he was finished reading, he blessed my Tia and her casket, splashed holy water on it, and summoned the workers to lower the casket into the ground. My whole family watched in complete silence and her casket was slowly lowered into the ground, disappearing inch by inch. When it was all the way in, the red roses that had been on top of her casket were distributed one by one to each person there. When everyone had a rose, we went up to the final resting place and one by one threw our rose in. There wasn’t a better way to do this. I was in awe as I watched every person throw their rose in, some kissing theirs before throwing it in and some whispering a little prayer. At one point, through the tapping sound that the roses made as they landed, I heard one of my cousins whisper, “I’d rather cover her with roses than dirt any day.” I couldn’t agree more. Each rose meant something different depending on who threw it in, but they all had something in common. They were all filled with the deepest love for my Tia Sylvia. Something that she had given all of us every day. At that moment, I knew I would be able to get through this, and with my family around, it wouldn’t be too hard.

My Tia Sylvia was an amazing woman. She dedicated so much time, love, and energy into our family. She made sure that we stuck together as a real family should. She would be so proud at the way that my family has already been helping each other through the pain and heartbreak. It’s what she lived for. I can definitely say that she was the rock of our family. She was strong, supportive, and a true leader and great role model. Now that she has passed, it’s time for each one of us to find that rock within ourselves so we can carry it on for the future of our family. It may take some digging, but she left us with the wisdom and strength to uncover it for ourselves.

I miss you. Love, Alexis

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Meeting Wanda

What a highlight it was finally meeting Wanda in Person.

A week ago today I had the honor and pleasure to meet my long time blog and now facebook friend Wanda. A little bit over two years ago she visited my Photo Blog as we used to participate in the Saturday Photography Scavenger Hunt. Eventually we just started commenting on each others blog and before we knew it a friendship was born.

Back then she used to live in Norther California, as her husband was the pastor of their church. Last year he retired and they made the move back to beautiful Southern California where now they live very close to all their relatives. They live at the foot of the mountains and I know based on Wanda's writings that they are really enjoying their retirement.

Well Wanda, I hope you were not disappointed, it has to be a bit on the weird side to meet someone in person that you met of all places in the Internet. Your daughter is not too far off thinking that there are too many weirdos hiding behing the computer screens. I am glad your husband didn't have to use one of the "Old Timer" pieces on me. lol -- I really had a wonderful time visiting you and your husband. The couple hours I was there went too fast talking about motorcycles, paintings, blogs, photography, etc. etc. Too many topics we have in common we definitely have to meet again.

Michelle and the kids thank you for the delicious batch of home made cookies and she hopes the next time we visit she will be there with me.

Again, thank you and your husband for your hospitality but most important for your friendship.

Hugs to the both of you.

Don and I, enjoying a good cup of coffee and wonderful conversation.

If you have never read Wanda's Blog "Brush Strokes from the Heart" then give it a try and visit her.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"C" Is For Couples


Ideally, couples need three lives; one for him, one for her, and one for them together.
~Jacqueline Bisset


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Perfect Couple

Definitely one of the longer ones I wrote. You may want to read it in two sittings I just didn't want to split this one. It was inspired on my parents but now I add mi chica and I to this.

Just the other day “mi chica” sent me one of many chain emails. When you get so many of them as often as I do it gets old, even if they are inspirational, but the other day she sent me one that caught my attention. I am not superstitious, never was, never been, and hopefully never will be, so I tell a lot of you that when I get these chain emails I am the end of the line for many of them, but there are a few that I will pass along. So then, “mi chica” sent me the following text. I think it’s worth keeping as a reminder of what we should be focusing on. Just like I previously quoted that Mexican saying “Nadie sabe lo que tiene hasta que lo ve perdido” and used the Garth Brooks’ song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” now use the following as food for thought.

Don’t ever leave the one you love for the one you like
Because the one you like will leave you for the one they love
Tonight your true love will realize
How much they love between 1 and 4 in the morning
Tomorrow the shock of your life will occur
Remember, you have only one life to live
So live it with the one you love

We all have role models, we all look up to someone for guidance, once I was the rookie, and so I too needed my role model. I didn’t have too look too far, all I had to do was look at my mom and dad, for me the greatest role models of all times. Talk about the perfect couple, the one that survived many hardships against all odds and surfaced victorious. The one that never claimed perfection but always strived for it. The one that had no weak links and altered their ways to accommodate each other. One strong woman and one supportive man and the architects of what we are today. My mom thought me a phrase at an early age that said, “cuando la prudencia no quepa en uno, que quepa en el otro”, live by this and you’ll see that many bad times will be eliminated. So, where my parents perfect? Is my mom perfect? Probably not, but they are the closest I know that comes close to it. All their life they had shown us to do the right thing, not just with words but also with their actions, and they always practiced what they preached. I’ll agree with many of you in saying that no, my mom is not perfect, but to me she is, she always was, and forever will be perfect… because she is my mom. One love, one life, it definitely worked for them, and as they are my role models and the ones I have always looked up to I know now and without a doubt that one love, one life will work for me.

Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black sang the song “When I said I do” in one of the Oprah shows and I liked it a lot but never had it in any of my collections, until now.

These times are troubled, and these times are good
And they’re always going to be, they rise and they fall.
We take them all the way that we should.
Together you and me, forsaking them all.
Deep in the night and by the light of day.
It always looks the same, true love always does.
Here by your side, or a million miles away.
Nothing’s ever gonna change the way I feel,
The way it is, is the way that it was.

When I said I do, I meant that I will, ‘til the end of all time.
Be faithful and true, devoted to you. That’s what I had in mind.
When I said I do.

This old world keeps changin’
And the world stays the same. For all who came before,
And it goes hand in hand.
Only you and I can undo all that we became,
That makes us so much more, (so much more),
Than a woman and a man.
And after everything that comes and goes around.
Has only passed us by, here alone in our dreams.
I know there’s a lonely heart in every lost and found.
But forever you and I will be the ones,
Who found out what forever means.

When I said I do, I meant that I will, ‘til the end of all time.
Be faithful and true, devoted to you.
That’s what I had in mind. When I said I do.

Truer than true
You know that I will always be there for you
That’s what I had in mind.
That’s what I had in mind.
When I said, I do.

Life’s a dance you learn as you go, my parents were not good dancers, matter of fact they weren’t dancers at all, but boy oh boy just because they couldn’t dance it didn’t stop them from teaching us a thing or two, it takes two to Tango and this they knew. They always made the right choices for them, and always were ready to help their rookies. When it comes to lemonade my mom still makes it with fresh lemons and she’ll squeeze them right there in front of you. If life or you give her lemons, she will make lemonade and not a lemon will be wasted. They were always on top of what was going on. Just like at her friend’s wedding my mom knew how many people were in attendance as she said “hay que estar en todo” you can trust me when I say that she knows anything and everything about us, you may think you fool her by keeping things from her but I can tell you different.

Mi chica always tell our kids “cuando tu vas, yo ya vengo”, well that has always applied for us too, because “cuando nosotros vamos, ella ya hasta llego”. I just hope that God keeps giving me the wisdom to continue living this life with “mi chica” like we have these past years. Remember the Spanish saying “No hay mal que por bien no venga”, that has definitely proven to be very true for us, and when it came to role models as far as I’m concerned my parents were second to none.

So then all I want to tell “mi chica” is, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la laaaaaaaa because if you know a little bit about oldies la, la, la means I LOVE YOU. And since I love you then you are a keeper. The first day of this year out of the blue you told me that you like me, and I know that you love me, soooo… I say you are pretty much stuck with me for the duration. – You think!

I know that for my parents reaching their 50th Wedding Anniversary and having all of us together to celebrate it with them was one of their most memorable milestones. As we traveled to Las Vegas one day the topic of conversation the whole way up there was making plans for their party and you could tell by my dad’s comments how much he was looking forward to the celebration. He remembered how for his mom and dad they came so close to reaching their 50 years as a married couple, but it was not to be and the knowledge that his was just around the corner was one of his biggest satisfactions, I know that he felt a sense of accomplishment because he knew what he and my mom had built from the ground up and he was extremely satisfied with what they had built and accomplished up to that point. Yes, to me they were the perfect couple; one that I feel had set the standard by which I want to live my life with my wife. Their example continues to be my guideline and I just hope that I have made them proud.

I have said it before that when my father left us I felt at peace, I had the best relationship a son can have with his father and he continues to be with me in my heart every single day of my life but in the dream world wouldn’t you want that one more chance with him?

If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end.
How I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again.

-Dance With my Father Again
Luther Vandross

Now I’m getting that chance with my mom and I do not intend to waste it. This last year and a half, I have come to know what my mom is all about and I found out more things about them in this short time than I had learned in my entire life. If you guys give her the time and listen to her stories you will be as amazed as I have been. What a life, what dedication and determination. (Ella tan Chiquita. De donde saca para tanto?)
Now it’s time for me to reflect on our upcoming 25th Wedding Anniversary and I too look back and see what we have accomplished or have not, and then look forward and see where I want to be. I too want to be that perfect guy for “mi chica” so that she doesn’t get tired of me and dump me. Because I’m using my parents as my guideline I hope to see our 50th as well, weather it’ll happen we don’t know but the dream, the hope, and the ‘ganas” are there.

I will let Dolly Parton close this episode with one of her many hits, this is one that fits what I just wrote:

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside, there was somethin' going on
You do something to me that I can't explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got somethin' goin' on
Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel
Needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah-ah
Makin' love with each other, ah-ah
Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah
I can't live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothin' if you got no one
And you did walk in tonight
Slowly loosen' sight of the real thing
But that won't happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing
No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one, in love forever
We can ride it together, ah-ah
Makin' love with each other, ah-ah

One Life One Love -- Until Death do Us Part.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Weekend Getaway

Well, the purpose of our California trip was just to get away and refresh just like we do a web page. You hit that refresh button and then you keep going. That's exactly what I did. The weather was very cooperative, no rain, no cold nights, no wind, actually only nice weather all weekend long. The getting there was as always part of the fun, I love stopping all over the place but this time we only stopped twice going and twice coming and actually did great travel time. It took me longer just to drop everybody off at their respective places once in Phoenix.

Just a tiny piece of the huge menu at this place.

Friday at noon my sister took us to a little restaurant in the City of South Gate named Tacos D.F. The sell a lot of the stuff you find in Mexico but not here, how do they get it? I don't know, but I didn't care. They have a huge menu but they had me at "Pambazo".

A pambazo is a white smooth bread prepared just like a torta except the bread is dipped in a red chilly and then filled with potatoes and chorizo and topped with lettuce, cream, and Mexican cheese. Believe me, this things are great and I have only eaten two of these since I left Mexico city over 30 years ago. To make sure I would not be hungry later on of course I had to order two additional tacos.

Un panbazo y dos tacos, ummm que rico!

And to wash it all down we had to have some tasty Mexican drinks as well.

Dig in homey, dig in.

all in all, we had a good time there, we ate pretty good and we'll probably be back. The downside of going there is that you have to drive as it is not too close from La Puente and L.A. traffic just plain suck. How can you stand it amigos?

Driving on the Long Beach freeway on gridlock traffic we decided to ditch the freeway and take the surface streets. The exit I took lead me to this place we used to visit back in the day. We would go from Hollywood to East L.A. just to eat this tacos.

Even though they do have a full restaurant right next to this truck, back in the day, King Taco was just that, two trucks sitting in that empty lot selling tacos. Since they are always open 24 hours a day you would get there at 3:00 a.m. and find the place totally filled to capacity with cars. Their tacos are the best.

The traffic wore me down so much that when I got to my sister's I crashed on her couch for the next three hours. Yeah, resting was part of my vacation plan and I did just that.

Us posing inside Tacos D.F.

While driving the surface streets we drove along side this old original classic. It is a Plymouth and it was pretty bad looking. I don't know if the owner plans to restore it or fix it but he seemed pretty happy just driving it ss is.

A fifty something Plymouth.

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