something else

Thursday, July 3, 2014

That's Life

I'm back after a short hiatus from writing. It's not that I didn't have much to say, or rather, write about it's just there has been a lot going on and unfortunatly these have taken up most of my time and energy.  

We celebrated My daughter Mikenna's 11th birthday back in March and my grandson Cruz's first birthday back in April. Both events I did write about, I even uploaded pictures but never got around to posting them. Then, ditzy me inadvertently deleted the posts along with a few others and I didn't feel like rewriting them at the time and I won't attempt to now. I'll just post two of my favorite photos and hopefully I'll add more at a later date. 
 I will tell you though,we took Kenna on a weekend birthday trip to Pennsylvania and had a wonderful time. 
 Cruz's mama did a fantastic job planning and implementing his birthday celebration, he even had his own mini "smash" cake.

My Mother's Day I was surprised with breakfast in bed. Kenna made me fruit crepes, even preparing the batter from scratch. No bisquick mix used here.  She's becoming quite the little cook.
 (My Mother's Day breakfast tray donned with paper hearts.) 
 I spent the next day with Bean. Breakfast at our local diner then shopping.

Summer has finally arrived ( I think ). The children have finished another year of school and the days are longer, fuller and moreso tiring.  Kenna has started joining Me and Cruz on our daily walks through our quant little hamlet, the same route I use to push her stroller on.

 My mother celebrated her 84th birthday in June and although time, sadly, is catching up to her she's still pretty active. I've noticed she's starting to decline as of late in respect to her health and that scares me.  She has always been a strong, vibrant woman but with the recent death of my aunt, her sister, that has dampen her spirits something fierce and I fear she will not bounce back.  And although there are times we don't see eye to eye on things I don't know what I'd do without her.

Friday, May 23, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back



These last couple months have been, umm, interesting.


I went in for a minor procedure early last month which turned out to be, well, not exactly what I expected and extremely painful.  Thank goodness I possess a high tolerance for physical pain and that blessing has come in quite handy over the years.  Not only was it painful but I accomplished to attain the one adverse side effect that they claimed was rare with that particular procedure.  Go figure!



I came out of it with a slight paralysis on the right side of my face which, thank God, is not noticeable to others and I was told it would eventually subside completely. It's already going on two months since the procedure and while I have noticed it slowly getting better it's a bit bothersome, especially trying to spit and gargle after brushing my teeth.  My daughter thinks it's hilarious to watch and honestly, it really is.  She'll come into the bathroom purposely just to spy my temporary infliction and we always end up laughing so hard I usually have a toothpaste mess to clean up on the counter.  I'm still not sure if this procedure succeeded with its purpose but at least we've obtained some great belly laughs from it.


Although I wasn't laughing the other day when out shopping with her. Quite the opposite.  I can guarantee, without a doubt, every one of us at one time or another while meandering through a shopping center have heard that high-pitched whistle emanate through the bustling landscape of a busy store.  An indicated code that someone has strayed and because I have always used this tactic with my children when they'd wander from my line of sight I tend to stop what I'm doing and scope out my surroundings for lost singletons.  While out with her, she strolled from my view and after my initial heart-stopping panic and scan of the aisles I proceeded to try to whistle with no luck. Needless to say, until this problematic situation is resolved I'll be carrying a handheld toot. That or she stays home, which she'd probably prefer.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Time Stood Still - Pt. 2

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST-


I've never, as far back as I can remember, been much of a sound sleeper.  Not a bad attribute if you suspect your teen is sneaking out at night or sense a roaming / Internet voyeuristic partner.  Thank goodness I've not had to worry about those things.  Unlike what I've been told regarding the latter, that ALL men have perverse meandering behaviors and if they deny it they are lying, told to me by a male, no less, I stick to my belief that NOT all men participate in those kinds of activities.


When I disclosed this person's absurd expression of his fellow man to my husband his reply to me was, "How sad of a man he must be .  He apparently is trying to make himself feel better by trying to condone his own actions and shortcomings by convincing whomever will listen that all men do what he does".  Ironically, this man has been a Program Director/Deejay at numerous radio stations and gets paid for talking and dishing out his cockamamie babble.  Ah, but please forgive me for my slight digression there.


When my brother died a piece of me died with him.  I use to look forward to his call, gazing up at my "Arizona clock" to see what time it was in his neck of the woods.
A few years after his passing I was not in a good place. I found myself in an impetuous relationship I struggled to terminate.  Every time I tried pulling away I'd be sucked back in with hollow words, broken promises and crocodile tears.


I'm a fervent believer that your subconscious addresses and reveals messages to you and divulges these admonitions in your dreams, eager to reveal the knowledge you may be suppressing within you.  Sadly these exhortations, most of time, disregarded by the majority of people.
Those closest to you, even after they pass, I believe continue to support and help you through difficult situations, coming to you in dreams, if you're open to it. 
I've disseminated some of these views in past posts.


The night my brother left his earthly body I was startled awake, my sudden arousal wasn't due to an unusual clatter in the house but rather an uneasy feeling that had overcome me even while in slumber.  I sprang to a sitting position in bed and knew immediately something was wrong.
This innate aptitude seldom has been inaccurate over the years, some times it's not been as grim as I've sensed it to be but these glimpses of "intuitions" have always been dependable, purposeful and held merit and it is a constant presence in me.


There was this person I once knew.  I had an overwhelming feeling of dread in regards to him.  I attempted numerous time to get in touch with him and when I finally heard from him he told me he had been fired from his position at work.  It was, in retrospect, one of the better outcomes.


Even after all these years in possessing this ability it still amazes and is, at times, disheartening to me. To be able to connect and sense the innermost feelings of others emotional state can be extremely draining.


Since his death I've had only two dreams where he's (my brother) has visited me in. One I had written about in an earlier version of this blog under another title "Life With Baby Mikki".   Below is an insert of the paragraph taken from that post retelling the dream.


The dream unfolds as such:
Standing in the midst of white flowers, remembering thinking they were delicate baby’s breath I see my brother walking toward me and behind him my father. In my father’s arms he’s carrying a small crying infant, but he is smiling at me and I’m aware he’s trying to get across to me everything will be okay. I try to move forward to get closer to them but cannot seem to. In the dream I call out the baby’s name and as the sound of my voice echoes in the stillness of this vast open valley I feel the soft breeze surround me. Its gentleness feels like delicate kisses on my face as it wafts by. I raise and stretch my arms outward toward them trying to embrace her and she stops crying and I fall to my knees knowing she's there but out of my reach.


The other dream, I have never revealed to anyone.  The purpose of my closed-lip is due to the meaning I took from it.  It occurred at a time I long to wipe from my memory, a period in time I wholly regret. There was no doubt in my mind, in this dream, he (my brother) demonstrated a profound disappointment in me and I've never been able to cast aside his show of indignation and discontent toward me, even though it was only in a dream.  I awoke and walked out into the kitchen for a glass of water, on my way back to bed instead of walking down the hallway past the bedrooms, which I usually do so I could peek in on the kids, I walked through the living room instead. A dim light from the house across the street shined through the living room's sheer curtains giving off just enough illumination to see where I was stepping. As I passed that broken "Arizona clock" that hung on my wall I stopped and stood in awe, bewildered at what I was experiencing. The hands fixed on the numbers they had been found on at its demise years earlier, but at that moment a familiar sound rang out I hadn't heard in a very long while and I stood there dumbfounded.  It never spoke again after that, it's song once again silent and not long after that it came down off that wall, buried in the discarded pile of broken things. Gone but never forgotten.




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Time Stood Still - Pt. 1

It's daylight saving time which use to mean I'd have to recalculate in my head the time in which I'd make my phone calls to my brother who lived in Arizona. To make it easier I'd keep one of the clocks in the house set for Arizona time, brilliant, huh? They don't follow the national norm of  "spring ahead, fall behind" which meant I never had to change the time on my "Arizona clock".



After my father died my mother gave me the old "cuckoo" clock that hung in our (childhood) home. I can remember my father winding it every 30 days and the sound of the chimes it made every hour on the hour. 1 chime for one o'clock, 2 chimes for two o'clock and so on. I'd lay in bed at night and count each tone, its resonance reverberating through the house.  There was something comforting in hearing the peaceful tune of the chimes as a child, even as an adult I found it to be reassuring.


A few years back it stopped working, and I miss that song I had longingly waited to hear and that had rang out for so many years.  I kept it hanging even after it broke, its song missed, replaced by silence but its presence still somewhat comforting.



After my brother died that clock became more than my "Arizona clock", it became my everyday reminder of him and while time stood still on it now, it reminded me there was no promise of any future for my brother. Time had stopped. During that time I found myself stuck, stuck in a moment of despair. It seemed and felt like there was no moving forward for me either. I had lost one of my best friends.



It wasn't until one night that changed, one night when something unexpected occurred.


TO BE CONTINUED ON NEXT POST....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Avoid The Possible Perils



My children are the most important thing in my life, I would give up my own for them.  When they are happy, I am happy, when they are sad, I am sad, and when they hurt, I hurt.


I've known and seen parents blatantly put their children in harms way without the thought of the ramifications if something goes awry and danger finds its way to them.  I'm reminded of the time I walked into an establishment to see a little girl age 4 or 5 sitting alone in a playroom next to a propped open exit door, no adult supervision and the parent off in another location watching a demonstration.


I am by no means perfect and have had my share of lapse in judgment but this was not the first time I had witnessed nor had been told this parent had done something like this, although, I did come to realize the person telling me these things is a pathological liar.  I thought to myself, Why would anyone, let alone a parent, leave their young child(ren) unsupervised in a public space?  What kind of parent would do that?  I suppose, until a tragedy finds them, they don't think about things like that or they're just oblivious and lacking any parental sensibility.


I have been openly accused of being over-protective, this title I wear proudly. There are too many sick, callous individuals (I've come across a few) walking among us and I cringe with horror when I witness a parent who is impervious to the dangers.


When I decided to have children my main job became that of caregiver, nurturing them, and keeping them safe by allowing them to grow and explore the world cautiously.
Mishaps happen all the time, bad things can and do occur at the blink of an eye.  A lot of them can be avoided with a little common sense but other times, even if we take precautions, some times bad things happen because of others stupidity.



Head Staples

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Memories





Christmas has always been a wistful and lugubrious holiday for me.  From a very young age I've been able to sense and feel the sadness and pain in others and I think that has contributed to it.  So many people hurt especially during the holiday seasons and I pick up on that which instinctively causes a deep, for lack of a better word, depression within me. I've learned to try to suppress that and surround myself with positive, happy energy rather than negative but sometimes that is impossible and so, I search out solitude to ground me.







Cruz reaching for the orb no one saw

Last Christmas I wasn't up to par to set up and trim my memory tree.  As a matter of fact, I didn't do any of the decorating last year because of illness nor did I don the Santa suit on Christmas Eve at the family celebration either.

 


The ornaments that adorn my remembrance tree represent a loved one who is no longer here. I put it up this year and as I placed each memorial ornament on its boughs I paused for a moment to remember them. It seems to be filling faster with each passing year.
I make each ornament myself. In the picture above, my daughter's tree is in front of it filled with her ornaments she receives each year, a tradition my older daughter started with her years ago. And at my families Christmas gathering I even donned the red suit like I had so many years in the past.





For the last few years Kenna has been questioning the existence of Santa Clause.

Eve the  elf made an appearance


It's been a difficult task, It's been harder and harder each year to continue the fa├žade and keep the magic present. I even pulled out the old Elf on the Shelf and bought an elf ornament, adding a message on the back of it for her.

I encouraged her to write a letter to that Jolly Ol' man and she did.



Cruz not happy wearing the antlers

I suppose it has helped I keep reiterating to her
"You don't believe, you don't receive." And although two of the things on her wish list will take time to tell if they come to fruition, she did get the other two items and Santa even answered her questions. (Best I could)




I so dislike the fact she will one day tell me I'm full of reindeer poop and the magic of believing in an benevolent figure will be gone. And although she knows the true meaning of Christmas, isn't there something innocent and heartwarming to have your child wake Christmas morn with that gleaming sparkle in her eye thinking Saint Nick visited the night before?






This Christmas, I have had so much to be thankful for.  My health issues are currently being managed successfully and the biopsy I had to have last month came back as being benign, a far cry from where I was last year at this time.  But the most precious gift I cherish with all my heart, is a baby boy I affectionately call Bean.











Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tucson News / Murder

Back in October I got a message from my niece in Tucson. Needless to say she was more than a little upset by the news. This young man is the half-brother of the young man serving 22 years for my brother's murder, he was also one of four involved in it. Released from prison in September he is believed to be the suspect in a double homicide in Phoenix, Arizona.
 
10.23.13
 
Man suspected in Phoenix double murder, served time for crimes in Tucson - KVOA.com

TUCSON - The search is on for a Tucson man suspected of killing a teenage girl, and her boyfriend Monday night in Phoenix.
24 year old Hector Taner Karaca was released from prison last month and is considered armed and dangerous.
Karaca is linked to the 2006 murder of a Quick Mart employee in Tucson.
While a murder charge was ultimately dropped, he served time for hindering prosecution. Loved ones of the man killed are both angry and terrified that Karaca is on the loose.
"It's very scary, I'm really upset," says a relative of Christopher Cottle who wants to remain anonymous.
Seven years ago Cottle was shot and killed during a robbery on July 15th 2006. He was 50 years old, a husband, father, grandfather, and military veteran.
"Fought for his country, came back and they took his life in his own backyard, that's really sad," says a family member.
Her grief now extends to the families of a young Phoenix couple Kristen Furgeri and Jose Villa
Police believe Karaca once a juvenile suspect in her loved one's murder, shot and killed the couple Monday, then took their car. It was found the next day torched.
"It's heartbreaking, they'll never be the same person anymore," she says, "Part of them has been taken away from them."
"I just pray for them, that's all I can say is I pray for them. And I hope they can get through this, because it was really hard for us," she adds.
Karaca, who's now on the run, was released from prison September 5, without parole, despite multiple disciplinary infractions behind bars.
He's described as six feet tall, 175 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has several tattoos 'Tucson" across his upper back and 'Chavez' across his stomach, likely for his friend Daniel Chavez the 27 year old convicted of murdering Cottle.
"I can't even talk, it's just so hard to know that he's out there again doing this, it's really really hard," says Cottle's family member.
Phoenix Police say since Karaca has strong ties to Tucson, they want everyone to be on the lookout.
~*~

Ex-con sought in Phoenix killings shoots himself | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

12.13.13

PHX double murder suspect kills self after high speed chase in Tucson -KVOA.com

 
News Image
 
TUCSON- A murder suspect is dead, after leading Tucson Police on a high speed chase across the city's south side.
The chain of events started at 9:30am Thursday morning, when U.S. Marshals informed TPD that 24-year-old Hector Karaca was staying at La Quinta Inn at 7001 S. Tucson Boulevard.
Karaca was accused of killing a 25-year-old man and his 17-year-old girlfriend on October 21 up in Phoenix.
TPD Sgt. Chris Widmer says at around 1:15pm on Thursday, Karaca and a few other people left La Quinta Inn and got into a pickup truck.
They drove to the Spectrum Shopping Center at 1217 West Irvington Road.  They parked their car behind the Peter Piper's Pizza.  Karaca and one other individual got out of the truck and carjacked a red Camaro, after holding a gun to the driver's head.
Karaca started driving away in the Camaro at a high speed and TPD started chasing him by air and ground.
Near 5th Avenue and 22nd Street, Karaca collided with a pickup truck in front of Garcia's Cleaners.  The collision ended the chase, but Karaca got out of the car and began running through several residents' yards.  Sgt. Widmer says he then took out a handgun and shot himself in the head.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The driver of the pickup truck tells News 4 Tucson he suffered only minor scrapes and bruises.
"It was like something out of the movies," says Eddie Escalante who works at Garcia's Cleaners.  "It was like the movie "The Fast and the Furious", just hauling butt.  The Camaro was at least four car lengths ahead of the cops."
Sgt. Widmer says TPD has two people in custody who were with Karaca when Thursday's incidents unfolded.
Digging deeper into Karaca's past, the News 4 Tucson Investigators learned Karaca was released from prison in September without parole.  He was the suspect in the 2006 murder of Christopher Cottle.  Cottle was working at a Quick Mart in Tucson, when he was killed during a robbery.
That murder charge was dropped, but Karaca served time for hindering the prosecution.
 
~*~
 

Tucson News

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wrapped Up in Thoughts



 
I sat at the kitchen table yesterday afternoon looking out upon the vast emptiness of the field behind our home, I often do this when there is a lot on my mind. I had finished feeding the baby his lunch a half hour or so earlier and he was restless yet tired. His morning nap was a short intermission from his otherwise bustling self. He lounged comfortably on my lap off and on while I gazed outward through the dank glass door, him occasionally reaching up with his tiny perfect hand to touch my face. His tender caress on my skin soothing and I could sense his inquisitiveness.  He has been very clingy lately and is not happy unless he is being held, so I hold him, I rock and sing to him.  He actually does not mind my singing but rather enjoys it, I give him another four months before he takes cover and runs from my vocal warbling.  A light flurry of snow began to fall and it was magical. I am so looking forward to Christmas morning this year, whether it's due to this small babe who eventually found repose in my arms, his slumber there within them comforting to me or due to other reasons. I look at him and Mikenna and I see love, I see all that is good and I rejoice in the small miracles and celebrate the life we have.   

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blessings

This time last year I watched as my daughter and my husband assembled an artificial Christmas tree and decorated it without me. This year, I had already started pulling out the seasonal decor before the Thanksgiving season even hit. I'm dancing, singing and enjoying the season, anticipating the trimming of the boughs.

My daughter Mikenna and I sang Christmas songs as I prepared some of our Thanksgiving dishes for our family gathering, she gets a kick out of it when I improvise with the lyrics to our favorite carols. I pulled out my Christmas cd's and have been playing them while I rock my grandson to sleep. I enjoy having him here with me during the week. I'm usually dead tired by Friday but it's worth it and I'm glad I decided to go this route rather than stepping back out into the labor force taking the job I had been offered. And although it would have helped to have the extra income, taking care of him while my daughter works, watching him grow and him being a huge part of my life, I wouldn't have it any other way. I never realized how much I missed having a little one around.

There are so many things to be thankful for, especially this past year. Yes, we've had our share of setbacks and I go in for a biopsy tomorrow after my last doctor's appointment revealed an abnormality, but I'm not worried. I have been extremely blessed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rewind -- Originally posted in "Life With Baby....Mikki"

 

It's been over a month since I've posted in here and while I have a slew of posts in draft form I haven't had the time nor energy to revise them. I've been reminded, way too much lately, life is fleeting, so I decided to re-post an entry from "Life With Baby Mikki" on February 14, 2012 .

 


Rewind

In college, I remember an assignment for one of my journalism classes that I wasn't too thrilled about doing.  I had loved certain aspects associated with the course of study but others, not so much.  I loved writing the feel-good pieces but hated the "other" stuff. 
I enjoyed observing the people, watching their demeanor. I enjoyed listening to them, taking in every single word. I enjoyed taking notes and I'd add my own thoughts in the side column so I'd remember how I perceived the subjects comments and their reactions to my questions. My annotation at times vast - I even devised my own form of shorthand so I could get it all down on the paper. It worked out quite well.
 I always dreaded the personal one-on-one interviews and I think it showed. I was always told I was ingratiating and to use that to my favor but I forever was stumbling over my words, always nervous about speaking. That has not changed.
I just wanted to be the fly on the wall, to take it all in and yet not be seen, to be obscure. I'd become too involved in the story, too emotional. The separation of my feelings with the subject matter was hard for me and I wore it on my sleeve. That was the demise in furthering my ambitions in the field.  Heck, I cry at Hallmark commercials, even to attempt to kill a spider is hard for me and I'll often let it go its merry little way.

And then writing, it was never one of my stronger attributes.  I failed English miserably, which it has always shown but through the years I've kept it up anyway. I even have a manuscript I had started that I work on every once in awhile. When I get in one of my moods I pull it up and start writing. It sometimes helps take my mind off of things, things I don't want to think about.  I had it open the other night, it's words spread across the screen but I got distracted and left it while I took care of my diversion. That's kind of ludicrous when you think about it. It hadn't done what I had hoped anyway.

When I came back I found my 8 year old in front of my computer. Her eyes intently fixated on the screen and on the words I had typed. Thank goodness there was nothing written of impropriety on that one page.  When I asked her what she was doing, with her eyes still steadfast she raised her index finger to me as to say, give me a minute.  No one has ever laid eyes on this work, not even small segments of the prose that fill the ever growing script I get lost in sometimes for what seems like for hours. Not even a synopsis of it. Nothing.
I reached over and closed the screen down onto the keyboard.  When she looked up, the words that came out of her mouth I couldn't tell if they were an observation or a question, or maybe it was a combination of both. "Realistic fiction." 

She continued, saying it (realistic fiction) was something like a book she had read, "Out Of My Mind." I chuckled not only at her perception of the content on the screen but because that's exactly how I have been feeling lately - out of my mind. 
I asked what the book was about and she started to tell me she thought she remembered it was about a girl with a disability and the challenges she faced and how she thought it reminded her of me. She hesitated and said "I think it's fiction, but it could very well be true." I asked why it reminded her of me and who the author was.  She stopped for a moment and thought and then told me "Just Google it".  Google it? Really? So I did, but the only thing that came up were songs from Duran Duran, John Mayer, James Blunt and Colbie Caillat so I went into the Barnes and Noble website and read the editorial review and honestly, at that moment, after listening to the lyrical verses of the songs and then reading the review of the book, I wanted to pick up the computer and throw it across the room.

My assignment I had trouble with all those years back had entered my head. It wasn't a difficult task remembering, considering. I recall when the assignment was posted feeling the dread penetrate and pierce through my heart. It wasn't because I had to interview someone, if we had a choice between that or the given assignment I would have taken the interview.
Write two obituaries, one being your own.  It had to hold the truths of the individuals life. 
 
All my life I've had to deal with death in some form or another, as we all do. Whether it be a spectator on the sidelines, watching the spirit drain from its bodily home in both those I cared about or strangers I hardly knew, or experiencing it firsthand, even coming too close to the inevitable myself more than I care to remember.  The most difficult time for me was watching a child take his last breath and me only a child myself watching it unfold before my eyes. No, this was not an assignment I cared to even think about.

I had scrolled through my phone to my downloaded game apps earlier. Hanging with Friends staring up at me and I opened it. The home screen popped up, I immediately saw -- Your Turn: Hanging with Player 2, and I tapped on it. A little speech balloon then popped up and read  'Tap play to guess player 2's mystery word .'  
I had friended this little old man at my treatments, both of us there for the same reason and since there was not much to do as we sat there we had started playing this downloaded game on my phone.
I hesitated knowing even if I solved the secret word he would no longer be sitting next to me to guess mine. I continued anyway, I needed to know what his last word to me was. On the screen in front of me it showed - " ? A ? ? ? ". 
One by one the letters appeared, F-A-I-T-H and all I could think of was his words to me every time we exchanged our pleasantries, "Everything will work out the way it should, the way God has planned it."

And I remembered how difficult it was to write those obituaries back in college, but his, the man who sat by my side rubbing my arm when I'd feel the sting and nauseousness, it would be effortless.
And if I could pass my phone to him one more time, use whatever letters I wanted, it would spell out, F-R-I-E-N-D.

Subtle coincidental occurrences?  Maybe I do think too much, but then, maybe we should all stop and listen.