Wednesday, July 30, 2008

this is how

...I've been handling the issues, so far.

I'm reading Carlos Castaneda's Tales of Power and hoping to absorb some lesson on strength and self assuredness.

Since it's a book I've already read, there is that nice comfort that I can pick it up and open it to any part I want. Yesterday I reread the part where Don Juan explains the tonal and nagual to Carlos, which are (self)consciousness and invisible power, respectively.

They sit on a bench for a while and people watch, picking out people who have weak, out of shape tonals, and Don Juan adds that self indulgence can weaken the naturally sensitive tonal.

The nagual is where a warrior's creativity, power, and immpecability come from, and it is entirely invisible and un-imaginable, but when it is in balance the warrior can draw on it at will.

Maybe this sounds a bit esoteric to you, for a discussion on childrearing, but I can't imagine anything else I can do at this point to balance the two forces working on me right now- (somewhat just)outside expectations and my preference for my own method of handling my children (certainly NOT perfect yet!). I am open to change, but not at the expense of my relationship with C and C.

So, I want to have a strong, balanced tonal and nagual, so that all of my life is like clay in my hands. I know my children are their own selves, but I want to manage them deftly when needed, and others, too.

Also, I don't know why my reply to Cassie came under the name of Luz Dary, my aunt. I was sure I had completed the sign in as myself.

Monday, July 28, 2008

a really hard thing

It's probably part of the cycle of life, how sometimes we are UP and other days very much down... Well, that's natural for me anyways.

But, yeah, there are some issues I am dealing with right now. Not really direct, clearcut home-sickness, but I did have a dream last night where I tried to find a way to end the trip early. Of course, there was none.

Basically, what's going on is that my grandma is a compulsive tidy person, and I am me (and, naturally, my kids know MY ways and rules). Of course she loves me but there have been problems. I've been cautious, above and beyond my usual manner, to wash every dish and spoon we dity, to gather up after them, and so on, but the fact remains that I do not have all the answers, or eyes in the back of my head. I'm struggling to do my best and it's definately wearing me out everyday. It's just not enough.

The house is FULL to the brim with delicate, beautiful, expensive things that appeal to children... Tiny animals made of austrian crystal, nice linens, etc. Some things are less expensive (little baskets full of decorative soaps in the bathroom that are GLUED into place in the basket, lol), but that doesn't really change anything to my grandma when they are pulled out because somebody (we still don't have a confession from the guilty party) thought they were toys.

Also, electricity is very expensive, and three year olds love to turn on lights.

My grandma is also old (you know how old people are), so she is naturally set in her ways and any form of disorder in the house makes her already sore back hurt MUCH worse. And since I went so many years without and wishing I had this family back I truly want to humor her...

Si, abuelita. Por supuesto... (Yes, grandma. Of course.)

Whether it's about giving the kids their ommelette WITH their arepas (no difference to me) or asking them to stop leaving little handprints on the walls (I'd def rather they didn't!), I agree with her. And she insists that no food be thrown out, that shoes always be worn in the house, that beds are made crisply. The list goes on.

I have OFFICALLLY been asked to do a better job at disciplining them (I guess all these years I've been having fun indulging them??) so hopefully we will go home with wonderful new habits in place regarding cleanliness, self discipline, chores, etc.

Ugh. No wonder they keep liquor in this house.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

more pics...

We are going out to some farm today, where we have cousins, and to go swimming etc.

Here's some pictures before I run out the door...

a Rumbiar!

from Friday night-

Victoria, my cousin, took me out with another American-Colombiana and a Colombian guy friend (Leo?). We went to La Casa de la Cerbeza (The House of Beer), where we ordered and finished off a bottle of aguardiente, lol. It's a liqour that tastes like anise or almonds or something... I am not sure, because I started at home with red wine (and do I EVER drink red wine? no, never) and then a beer at a soccer game before we went out dancing.

Yeah, and my ears are ringing (loudly) and I'm pretty drunk. Oh, but the MUSIC. Mmmmm.

By American standards, I sometimes tend to think I'm a pretty good dancer, but I was put to shame. Well, that's my interpretation, anyways, but you know me. I think she was just trying to be nice. Leo did give me a proper salsa lesson or two, and I had fun, as always!

I will add that Calienos don't really appear to drive any different after a whole bottle of liqour, it's pretty much the same thing... Or everyone gets really drunk during the daytime, too.

Also interesting to note- in dance clubs here, at the end of the night, they send a server around with a tray of little plastic cups. I assumed it was more shots of something venomous but my cousin said it was cups of hot soup. Mentiras! I said to Vicky. But, yes, it was in fact chicken soup with lots of cilantro, and a freshly made one at that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday photos

The entrance area...

The kids in the living room...

The balcony view from the third floor, where our room is...

no fuimos a las marchas...

(we did not go march)... instead we stayed at home. Was there any news coverage of the marches back in the States? Thousands of people took to the streets in Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Letica, and even Paris to protest FARC holding people captive. Indios Amazonas sang some traditional songs and President Uribe gave a moving speech while Shakira was up on the stage, holding hands with him. It was a very emotional event that we followed on the television (my abuela is too old for marchas, and I was busy with the kids.

Anyways, the 20th of July is one of the 2 days Colombians celebrate independence (Aug 7th is the other), so when we woke up there were banderas (flags) hung from the balconies and a big meal already in the works.

Anyways, it was a BEAUTIFUL Dia de Independencia.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

vuelta a casa

Oh, what can I say except that I love Colombia. Last night after we were picked up at the airport, we settled into our new home, etc I thought of a few things I thought might be of interest to you-

The drivers are totally scary. Oh wow. Very scary. There are motorcyclists everywhere and people just dip around each other, cars and cyclists both. There are some lines on the roads and some lights, but no one seems to notice them, anyways.

There was a salsa concert going on a few blocks away from our house, and I kid you not the energized music filtered in- through the hills of Cali- to my bedroom ALL NIGHT LONG. I LOVE it. I actually feel like I belong. Que raro, no?

Also, this is a gorgeous 7 bd- 4 bth house, and there is no warm or hot water, no joke.

Anyways, lots to get done still with unpacking and I am itching to get out and take a walk... blog at you later, I am sure.

Monday, July 14, 2008

can you taste that sultry summer air?

MMM. Just got home, and can I say: I do love living here. I know I do a lot of complaining when it's murderously hot out and all, and I do still prefer a crisp afternoon to brain damage and heat stroke, but today there was something about the palm trees and the warm air and the glow of the afternoon.

I'd say it was the perfect day to meet a hot guy w/ adorable little boy in tow... Smarty Mama brought him to our playgroup, and I don't think any of the mommmies were complaining, lol. Funny enough, he and I are almost the same age, and we know some of the same people. We chatted for a while, and he got my email addy before we left.

Smarty told me that he had complained to her that he's tired of dating women his age (mid 20's) because they only want one thing from him. He wants to date someone who understands having children and busy schedules.


2 days left to go with NO CELL PHONE

How did ANYBODY ever get along before cell phones and text messaging? That is what I would like to know.

Yes, we have a regular traditional home phone, as well, but I feel very much lost.
See, I didn't want to pay for a whole months service for only 3 days use... That's what I get for being a cheapskate.

I just have to go back to my mantra (that I'm sure you've heard from me, if you know me in person):

Travel is possible IF you know how to make it a priority... live really cheaply the rest of the time!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Damn that Smarty Mama ; - )

We went out last night and she plied me with hot wings and a pitcher of Blue Moon. Ah, one last good old American night out with my girl, B.

We decided to take our mission seriously, so I sat us at the bar right next to a table full of hot Air Force guys (yes, in uniform), and then I ate way too many wings. WTH. Chicken wings, I ate way to many of those... geez people.

I'd had such an awesome workout earlier in the day that it seemed completely sadistic to deny myself at that point. Which is why, upon my return from the wings and beer fest, I chowed down on Perch* Pie with Helen (roommate) and Sam (her guy), in celebration of his birthday. And we all watched a really scary movie, too, but the buffering drove us MAD and really heightened the suspense, too.

And now I'm in the final moments of getting ready for the month away... I pulled out the big suitcase, and laid it on my upstairs sofa. Now I just have to fill it with EVERYTHING. I just don't know if my hopes and dreams and wishes and inspirations and uncertanties are getting squeezed in there along with everything else or if those are going to be waiting here for me, when I return to this place that is so HOME I cannot imagine how I ever didn't want to live here.

*Label should have read Peach Pie, but the printer ink at the bakery made up a better name, Perch Pie

Friday, July 11, 2008

WELL stick me on a wheel and call me Hammy

I am in utter shock. Complete and utter shock. And not just because I finally did a complete Cow's Head posture at my yoga class the other day (and that would be "udder shock", right?). I mean, yes, that is amazing. I have been doing yoga for 12 years and this is a huge breakthrough (although I may have pulled a muscle...)

Anyways, I am in shock about something else.

You know how girls always complain that the guys they know want 'just one thing'? It's a total cliche for a reason, because it's largely true. [Or so I believed]

We believe that guys don't like relationships, that they don't want to sit and talk when there is literally no chance of something else happening... And what about the phenomena of men completely avoiding women after some sort of casual encounter, in which they were avidly participating? There are some guys who seem slightly more evolved by continuing contact for a few days, but it's really the same thing. [In defense of these women, I will say: they are not only after a relationship! Guys- some of these girls just want more of the, ahem, same. Some just want to be friends (with maybe more some of the time).]

And, so sometimes we girls play by their rules, putting up with it as long as it suits us. I know that's true for me, I like the fun I've had and i think I've learned to take it in stride... But, at the end of the day, what I really want is to be beside someone who wants to be beside ME (not just any hot girl who's willing).

Friendship and companionship inside of that kind of trust makes all the ruthless dating in the world seem really paltry, doesn't it?

And it's especially annoying to those of us who are single AND are also mothers to have this dating challenge to wrestle with... in addition to the ex's who will always be in our lives, bodies that have contorted (perhaps more than once?) with new life, and dinners to fix, child support checks that bounce... Ah, the joys.

But I apparently know a man who enjoys spending time with me when it is clear that NOTHING will ensue (ie: my children at home with me), beyond talking and laughing and some comfortable silences and some uncomfortable ones. There is certainly interest beyond those platonic pastures, but there is something really nice in just the scenery so far, too.

Clearly, I'm impressed by him, huh?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WTH is wrong with me sometimes?

We are in the last week or so of being around. In town. In the States, even.

I have no flippin clue what I'm actually taking with me (other than the kiddos, lol), just NO CLUE.

Last night, when my roommate asked, "Oh, what day of the week is it that you guys are leaving?" I drew a blank. With no certainty about my own plans, all I could say was that the 15th IS a Wednesday. My other friend piped in and corrected me... because apparently Wednesday is the 16th. Um, yeah. I have no clue.

But, in my defense, I know when I am leaving FROM Miami to Colombia. I know we are leaving on the 18th of July FROM Miami. And the world is not going to end if I decide to go to Miami on the 15th instead of the 16th, but actually, the 16th is sounding pretty good to me right now anyways ;-)

And guess who figured out that I can save a bunch of money if I take a train to Miami?? And that it takes as long as driving somewhere?

Oh, yeah, that's right! It was the smart-ass friend, lol.

Basically, there is nothing technically barring the trip from happening at this point. The expedited passports are in my hot little hands.

I just need to buy those train tickets and figure out how to work financial magic for the month of August. Otherwise, I will just be really destitute upon my return. As in, more than usual.

Oh, also, totally unrelated, but I am just very proud... I DOUBLED my time on the elliptical trainer yesterday. I have worked very hard to get past 5, 6, and 10 mins on that object of torture, however yesterday evening I did an easy set of 12 minutes, got some water, and then got back on to do 16 more minutes. Followed by the most awesome circuit training ever.

Monday, July 7, 2008

editorial note

Wow. That last post had no transition between topics at all.


Today, work was pretty good, considering I LOCKED MY KEYS in my car. Thankfully, I was on delivery to my kids (who needed pizza, bc their dad has a sore throat). So, I sat inside with them and got some stuff sorted out regarding un-locking the car, and then H gave me a ride back to work, so I could help close up shop and cash out.

Helen is a true fairy-adopted-sister because she came out there, while I was at work and had AAA undo the mischief, and then I got a ride back over there with friends at the end of the night.

It did rain quite a bit today. Monsoon pizza day. Yes, driving like that is nerve wracking, but I am always up for hours spent listening to the radio.

And on Sundays, I tend to learn stuff.

Ok, go listen to Studio 360 now, go!

Friday, July 4, 2008


and couturie ...

Two made-up words I really can't get out of my head right now.

Pazieme is my alteration of the middle baby-name we had. Tom liked Paz (translates to Peace). I like French names (maybe because I'm 1/4 francaise?), and I added the ending to make me smile.

I'm keeping the name. Besides his (newer, better) other-half is pushing forty and they probably won't be reproducing anyways. BTW I'm feeling better about the nonsense w/ the ex. After Harry revealed to me that the new gf is a woman who he cheated on his ex with about 20 years ago (reminding me that she's WAAAAAAY older than me) I decided that she's got nuthin on me. Besides, her 'boyfriend' is a royal tramp.

I've always known couture is French for sewing/seam, and couturier, a dressmaker. But drop the final 'r' and you get a word that is a little closer to what I'm up to today.

My silky pink paisley fabric is quite nearly a completed dress. Just some more detailing to do. I'll post pic's if I get it done before I have to leave to par-tay.


Can I just say I am REALLY TIRED.
The last few days/nights have been wild and fun and unnexpected. And sure, there are some lows, but also some nice high points.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

just when I thought the coast was clear

It's like a fresh, fresh wound. I feel incredibly sick.

Harry just (gleefully?) told me that Tom's been engaged to Paige since early March. Wait, i'm confused... he and I were planning on getting married, and were even trying to concieve back then.

Then he started acting 'different', we grew more distant, and even tried to upset each other some in the death throes of those last couple of weeks.

But- being serious about someone else like that?

Tom has not confirmed the extent of that rumor, but he has finally admitted (just this moment) that he and Paige are an item, as of late. And he says he's happy now, and that he wants me to stop texting him, but he's the one who's been initiating the conversations.

I was all giddy, why did this crap have to come up today?

Let it just be said that for the record (pulling a 'Trent' here):

I don't think I ever want to be in a relationship with someone who has not had their share of devastation/had their heart trampled like this. It would just be too hard to relate, I think.

I'm trying to believe that this will all have made me a better person, a more well rounded and less naive person.

um, to EVERY)ONE I texted

Re: going out on a Wed night...

Yeah, thank you for letting me have the huevos to go out alone.
Not the first time, but def worth it.


Somebody pinch me. (!!!!!!!!!!!!)


pps. The new dress off ebay has a messed up zipper. good thing I'm crafty, right?
WWYD? would you leave neg feedback? It's a cute dress, maybe neutral feedback??

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

on the good ole bandwagon

I've SO enjoyed reading these thematic posts at my friend's blogs for some time now. I'm finally joining in. The current Works For Me Wednesday topic is easy and delicious recipes- with just five ingredients, or less.

Let me tell you, this is my arena. Some people are musical (like my roommate), or mechanically minded, or really good at getting up early and making lots of money.

Me? I can grocery shop on a dollhouse-sized budget and make simple, healthy meals.
I first developed these skills as a house-wife/stay@home mom (when Harry and I first got together, I knew how to cook one thing, literally), but I honed these skills last year, when I was poorer than ever, newly single, and utterly determined to make things work out.

Arepas Con Queso

-2 cups hot water
-salt, to taste (1/3 teaspoon??)
-a teaspoon of oil
-PAN brand extra fine WHITE cornmeal (I don't know how much exactly, I'm guessing I use 1 1/4 cups) You can find this product in the Spanish section of most grocery stores.

-4 oz mozzarella, in small slices

Mix the first four ingredients together (yes, with your hands) until it feels like you could use it for playdough. If it's too dry, add a drizzle of water. If it's too slippery to make little cakes out of, add a tiny bit more cornmeal.

What you want to do is have the mozzarella ready to go, beside you, before you start messing with the dough. Streamlines the whole thing.

Make a skinny cake about the size of your palm, put some cheese in there, and add more of the dough on top. Smooth the edges, round it out, flatten as you go.

Cook in a pan on medium-low with a little bit of oil in it to keep them from sticking. The outsides will get crispy and change color a bit, when ready. Some of the melted cheese will sneak out. Yum.

makes 3-4 servings, cost per serving 75 cents.

No Additional Effort Lentils and Rice

-1 package of dry, seasoned rice. I like to use the 'wild rice' one, but if it will freak your kids or roommates out, use something less awesome.
-water and oil (I like olive oil), per package instructions plus an extra 1/2 cup water.
-a generous handful of dry lentils.
-crushed garlic. I use the real thing, but after a long day, jarred is fine.

What I do is boil the lentils with the water and oil for 5 or 6 minutes before I add the package of rice and seasonings. Them by the time the rice is done, the lentils will be, too. You might want an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper in there, also. It's up to you.

makes 4-5 servings, cost per serving 75 cents

Variations on a Theme- HealthNut Pancakes

-some kind of healthy pancake mix (whole wheat, buckwheat, whatever)

-the recipe on the box usually calls for 1 egg, some oil, and a little milk*.

1/2 cup of trail mix (use whatever's handy, but I like sunflower seeds, nuts, raisins, and CANDY). Pulse it in a food processor to chop it up, blend it in a blender, or put it in a ziploc bag and crush it with a saucepan. [I know, I'm sort of cheating here, because there's more than one ingred. in trail mix...]

makes 4 servings, cost per serving... you guessed it, right around 75 cents

*Note: instead of milk, I like to substitute WHATEVER I have on hand that will work. Seriously. I have no spouse, so I can't just be all, like, "Honey, the kids are asleep. I'm running to Albertson's for milk!"

Here are some funny things I have used in pancakes for milk, based on what was available;

leftover Wendy's Frosty (found it in the freezer. finders keepers)
plain yogurt and a dab of honey
ricotta cheese mixed with water
soymilk (I know... not that exciting)
pudding mix
and powdered chai mix, mixed with water.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ha ha ha... self-important-dribble into self-deprecating-slush

I'm sitting here thinking about what makes the wheels turn inside of us. Not everyone has the same taste, you know?

Nature is a big deal for me, personally. I "ooh" and "ah" over leaves. No, I take that back, not over leaves... but their textures and varigations. And how the light reflects off of them, and even the way they decompose.

Not to mention sky and water and all those other things.

There is so much that gets to the center of me, that makes me catch my breath, but what I think I really want for once (and maybe this is what I thought I was getting with "he who shall not be named") is:

to actually BE inspiring

I first typed: to be someone's muse, for maybe one decent project

and then deleted that, because it sounded really pretentious, but I figured, what the heck, the rest of this does, too.

Ok, but here's the issue; while I know that all living things fall under that catagory of "natural things" (which is, incidentally, why YOU are so interesting to ME), I don't know anyone who is taking applications for muses at the present moment.

And, I feel like I'm sorta ordinary (in a weird, wierd, wierd way). I don't know if that makes sense? But that's exactly what I feel my resume for such a position would say!

Works well under moonlight.

Does not find self overly exotic, yet looks the part.

Has a penchant for sitting still for long periods of time.