i make no excuses about who i am! love me, hate me, just read me!

Monday, December 26, 2011

To leave or not to leave, When your Bliss is on the Brink of being lost....Settling

I have been noticing a trend among a majority of my female friends and I am wondering why women who are smart and vibrant and beautiful, settle....I am guilty of it too. My relationship is what I would like to think "different", but I have chosen to stay with my Love who I probably should have left 10 years ago. Unlike my friends there is a reason that my "husband" was an asshole, and it was his addiction. He is just getting to a point in his life where it is not controlling him. I don't know what the future holds for us but I want to be positive that whatever happens we will always love each other. That is the key here, my girlfriends either are not in love, or have fallen out of love, or don't know what they are supposed to feel for the significant other in their life. They don't feel appreciated by their male counterparts...yet they choose to stay with them because they are afforded having a sense of financial stability. Not to mention that the sex is either nonexistent or matter of fact "wham bam thank you ma'am" sad to live that way.

No, sex is not what a relationship is based on but if you think about it looking back at the one you fell for was it the size of his earning potential or the butterflies in your stomach that had you falling down when he walked in the room? Ideally it would be great to have both, but realistically I think women choose one or the other. I have told my daughters to never depend on a man to support them. I actually like a quote by famed Diarist and lover to many literary men, Anais Nin, “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, ... Some never awaken.”  As women we look for something to complete us as if we were incomplete all alone, when the fact is we are what men need to reproduce....Don't get me wrong I love my children and had my Love been a provider financially I probably would have had 10. If I did not have any I don't think I would have felt I was missing something.... I would have learned to like the me I had become. Lets face it, as women we loose a great deal of me time when we have a family or a demanding husband. That is why you see so many women divorcing as their kids grow and leave the nest because they then have this freedom they never thought they would have. They want to live the life they did not get to as a mother and wife.

When we are young we have this idealistic/unrealistic vision of what marriage and a relationship should be.We formulate this by what we see and live as children. If your parents had a warm and loving relationship chances are you will too, maybe you will even wait till later in life to find that compatible person. If you saw your parents in what you now know to be an unhealthy relationship, chances are you will follow that suit or avoid it altogether. Whatever the reason we end up in unhappy marriages inevitably we need to be happy with who we are first, no one will complete us or make us who we should become, we can only do that on our own.

If you expect your mate to change after 20 years of feeling unappreciated, you will have better luck winning the lottery. But on the other hand if your mate is willing to look at what got you here and work on it together then maybe there is hope. Listen up men when your women are telling you what they want, chances are they have said it a thousand times but you only filtered out the part where they are telling you to take out the trash and even then not doing what they ask, not the part where they are telling you they want more foreplay.

I am not an expert at relationships, quite the contrary but I do know how to communicate well with my Love. I think that is what makes it different for us we actually talk to and listen to each other. We share our hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities, and we talk frankly and openly about sex and what we need from the other. Look if you cannot talk about sex then you probably should not be having it.......just sayin' come to think of  it you probably aren't. It takes two to make a relationship thrive and it also takes two to grow the weed of discontent, one partner plants it, the other neglects it. Maybe that's why so many women go after the gardener....the other man who will tell them what they want to hear, woo them in all the right ways  and make them feel the best they ever have....until the weed creeps back in because as women we really need to love ourselves and nurture ourselves first, we are in fact the Master Gardeners of our lives.

Life is too short to live in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship, bliss is attainable either in or out of the relationship but the first thing you need to do is decide what YOU really want.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two cases of The Failed Welfare Sytem, Rachelle Grimmer Tragedy and The Millionaire Welfare Recipients

I have not really been blogging much lately too busy working my real life day job as an underpaid bus driver..But the headlines I have recently read have me FUCKING PISSED OFF! and in case you did not get that the first time I MEAN FUCKING PISSED OFF AND PHYSICALLY SICK TO MY STOMACH.....You read these recent headlines and tell me how they make you feel.. "Millionaire Seattle Couple Caught Receiving Welfare Benefits Over The Past 10 Years." The next headline read "Texas Mom Shoots Self and Kids After Being Denied Food Stamps" Why is the system set up so that these things happen? It is ironic that these two situations are in the news not even a week apart? Both tragedies of a flawed system. A system that has been in place in some form since the British invaded Plymouth Rock. Welfare at its current form began to be developed during the Great Depression, and it has grown in to an uncontrollable terrible mess that it is today. Each States laws are different with regards to benefits individuals or families can receive. In my opinion it just does not work...I'm still on it....I only receive a small allotment of food stamps and I do qualify for medi-cal, if your read my blog you know that I work full time, my medical benefits are unaffordable with my one income although I do have a Vision plan and hope to add Dental this year. Things are better for me than they ever have been but I still have to rob Peter to pay Paul and watch where every penny I spend goes.
So the fact that David Silverstein  and Lyudmilla Shimonova were live the life luxe while probably talking shit about the people who really needed the welfare, jetsetted and lived in a 1.2 million dollar waterfront home....just makes me wanna lock em in a room full of people like Rachelle Grimmer the mother who shot and killed herself and injured her two children because she was denied food stamps. Honest people who really needed the help, but the system was set up to sabotage them. There are a lot of catch 22s with the welfare red tape. If you have never had to use the system you are a babe lost in the woods while the hungry wolves are salivating over you. Paperwork and everything from the proof of your income to the proof of the color of your shit is asked for...OK I am being dramatic.
I know all to well the hopelessness that Rachelle Grimmer a single mom must have felt. She had recently moved to Texas  from Ohio had moved several times within Texas, obviously searching for a place to call home. I don't know the circumstances of her situation completely but I know as a Mom who has slept in a van with kids figuring out what we were going to eat or how we were going to make it to the next day, I am sure it was overwhelming for her. She had applied for food stamps in July and had apparently missed her appointment, and to that I say taking time to apply for Welfare is a FUCKING JOKE PEOPLE ITS LIKE HAVING A JOB JUST TO DO YOUR WELFARE FORMS...I will have to take time off of work next week myself so that I do not loose my benefits which I still need and depend on greatly. Not all jobs or bosses are as understanding as mine. Rachelle Grimmer's case was held up by the fact that she did not provide enough information according to spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Commission of Texas. Funny how illegal aliens do not even have to be citizens and they get aid like its going out of style...and they don't even get turned in for being illegal? That's Texas for you and my beautiful state of California, but hey lets face it I don't know many white folks or black ones that would go work in fields right? I do think if you are on welfare and you don't have a job you should go work in the fields not some air conditioned office filing papers.
Sadly, Rachelle Grimmer and her story will be the poster story for some FUCKED UP POLITICIAN WHO SAYS THEY WILL REFORM WELFARE. Rachel Grimmer's tragic situation will for decades to come, define the Welfare System as we know it.

For some reason a crucial part of my blog keeps getting edited out and I don't know why, but I am adding this back in. In my original blog I wrote about the things you need to do as you file for welfare assistance, cash aid, food stamps or medi-cal. Each state and hence each county has different rules regarding assistance. Refer to your local office for their guidelines and rules. In general you can expect to be asked to prove residency, proof of income, proof of unemployment eligibilty you should apply before you go to apply for assistance even if you are going to get denied. You may be able to sign an affidavit that you sign under penalty of perjury in lieu of a any document that you are unable to provide immediately. Ask your worker more. Birth certificates, social securitity cards, photo ids for all adults in the case, immunization records, proof of enrollment in school, proof of financial aid if in college, rent receipts, rental agreements, mortgages, bank statements, proof of utilities and proof of vehicle registration.California allows you to own one vehicle and have less than 3000 dollars in assests. Always get the name the date, and time that you speak to anyone, ask for receipts for your documents and never leave original documents with your caseworker they can make photocopies.
You may be able to receive emergency assistance if you are pregnant, homeless, or if you are a victim of domestic violence. If you have an immediate need like assistance due to eviction, or utility shut off provide proof such as a three day notice or 48 hour notice, or if your food will run out in three days. You also qualify for emergency assistance if you are the victim of a fire or natural disaster. In most cases in the state of California you should get a determination within 3 days if you are classified as an emergency case, otherwise expect to hear about your case decision in 30-45 days. AFDC and Med-ical applications as well as CALFRESH, the states food stamp program can be applied for online in the state of California, here is the link  Most libraries have computers for the public if you don't own one or know someone who does.

Makes me wonder what the fuck the Silverstein -Shimonova's emergency was that they were able to bilk the welfare system by blatantly lying and getting away with it. Did Shimonova break a fucking nail and her Chiropractor husband what the fuck was his problem? Oh that's right he was her landlord and needed that 1200 dollar a month rent voucher to be able to go to what was it? FUCKING MORROCCO. Crappy part is these assholes punishment will be way to good for them. Doing time in a cush Fed Pen playing tennis and crocheting. This is a federal case and we all know Martha Stewart did OK.

If you want to see true reform become the voice... that Rachelle Grimmer did not have. I pray for her two young children who were shot by Grimmer in this tragedy and are in critical condition, my heart sinks for them tonite on the eve before I receive my 275 dollar food stamp allotment for my household of 3.

December 8 2011,
I have just read that both of Rachel Grimmers children have died, I am very sad, and my heart is heavy....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On loss and the lessons it has taught me this week.......To be thankful always, not just 1 day of the year..

I am feeling a little pissed off at God today. I want to believe, I want to have faith, and I want to know that the things he does in our lives are for a purpose. I have had two losses in my family in the last 10 days. My favorite Auntie Annie Avalos, who was 103 passed away. She was a wonderfully kind, genuinely sweet woman who always took the time when she visited my family when I was a child to pay attention to me. She was married to my favorite Uncle Joe, my Mothers older brother. The two of them were some of the happiest people I knew, at least that is what I saw in them. The laughter that filled the house when they were visiting or we were visiting them in San Jose are some of the best memories I have. When my Uncle Joe passed away years ago I saw how it broke my Aunties heart, she had her two sons and daughter and grandchildren to give her comfort. She became the person their lives revolved around, in a most wonderful and positive way. They all cared for her, last year my cousin her oldest son passed away, heartbreak again. I know that a person who has lived such a long life as she did had many up and downs, happiness as well as sadness, but my Auntie seemed to smile through it all with a knowingness that the Lord knew what he was doing in her life. I just can't seem to get that in my life right now.
I want to surrender completely to his will but when I hear the news that my cousins daughter lost her child on Thanksgiving day I just don't understand. I don't get that a God like mine would take from the world a little soul that was so loved, yet he only allowed her to remain with those who loved her for two months. What is the lesson in this loss? How do a mother and father survive this, how do they explain to their other young children where their sister is? How do they find the strength to live through any moment of the day? I cannot fathom the depth of their pain, and I know that no words spoken or written will heal them from their heartache. Really their are no words. I do know that having those that love you around you can be both a blessing and a curse. The comfort their families will provide them is something they will need now, and yet I know from my own losses my parents, and  a miscarriage, that you need time to grieve alone as well. I have not gone to see her yet, things are overwhelming for her. Maybe that's an excuse for me to not have to see her in such pain.... or to relive any of my losses. I think at times like this that is why people find it hard to be in the presence of someone who has had a loss. Its a reminder of their own.
When her father came to tell me I was in complete and utter shock, a wave of numbness and anger washed over me and the comparison of the two losses that our family had just suffered was something I looked at. My Aunties passing was really a joyous thing to see, her family was at peace and the memories of her were so loving and special. It truly was a celebration of the wonderful long life she lived! Yet for little Mykah who had yet to make a mark on the world, why? She came into her parents lives and those that loved them for such a brief time, yet she too like my Auntie has made a lasting impression on my heart. I had not gone to see her yet, I was waiting for this month to pass, I know new baby visitors can be overwhelming, and having been around a lot of sick people I waited. I thought I would have enough time to see her.
That is the shitty part of this lesson God has decided to show me, that there is never enough time....that the things you think you can put off or wait to do really are not promised to you..that life like time is something that happens so fast. The blink of an eye really. I told my cousin that we needed to see each other more that it is sad that we live in the same town and that those of us that live scattered here and there really don't have the closeness of my parents generation. We reminisced on our family reunions that were held in my Aunt Vera's backyard. Even if it was once a year, we all sat and caught up on one anothers lives, that was the Facebook of that time. I mean it is nice to see photos of everyone on Facebook and get a glimpse of their lives, but I don't really know some of my family members...maybe that is the gift Mykah's life has given me. The realization that living fully in the moment and being truly present in our loved ones lives is greater than any "like" on Facebook.

This post is written in memory of two of the sweetest people that ever graced the earth with their presence.....
Annie Avalos came into this world on April 17,1908  called home to Uncle Joe on November 16, 2011

Mykah Marie Bundy was given to the world on September 27, 2011 she was like a shooting star, here for a brief moment in time, called to be one of heavens littlest angels on November 24, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Do Not Compare The Flu To Cancer...When What I Write As A Blogger May Be Deemed Insensitive....

So I have not blogged in a bit, my crazy life just consumes me! Today something touched my heart and made me realize that the words that I write in my blogs can set the tone for someones day. I follow Angels for Abby Grace on facebook!/AngelsForAbby?sk=wall. Abby is a 3 year old little girl that was dignosed with Pineoblastoma, a malignant brain cancer that has spread to her spine. I first became aware of Abby through my daughter Kassidee who attends Madera High School. Abby's dad Duncan Needham is a teacher there. She told me that her cooking teacher was planning a recipe book and was going to donate the proceeds to the Abbys Angels fund. This fund helps the Needham family so they are able to travel and take time off from their jobs to be with their daughter as she fights the biggest battle of her life. Madera High also sold special t-shirts to raise money and held a football game in which all of the proceeds were donated to the Abby's Angels fund. The community in general has just reached out and supported the Needhams wholeheartedly with various fundraisers, more of which are planned. I am genuinely proud to belong to a community like this! Especially with so many young people being involved. It gives me hope for the future.

Today I read the status on Abby's page and her dad was talking about an article that offended him with the writer compairing the flu to a 72 hour cancer. Maybe you or I would have laughed this off and just kept reading without a second thought, but to someone whose life has been touched and irrevokably changed by cancer how much those words must hurt. The odd thing is this is on the Central Valley Moms homepage a blogging roundup that I have blogged on. You would think that this would have had more thought going to the mainframe or even being published in the newspaper, The Fresno Bee, especially with it being breast cancer awareness month! So much for humanity today! No its not that I don't get the writers comparison, a sad attempt at humor, I just agree with all of the people that commented on Mr. Needhams post that it was insensitive. So do you ask the writer or the paper to apologize for offending someone, or do you say that you live in a country where free speech however insensitive, or offensive it may be is free speech and that anyone has the right to say or write anything? I love that I live in the USA, I love that I am able to write my opinion down. I often write to provoke or piss people off.  I mean thats why I blog, to tell you in my words how I feel. After reading Mr. Needhams words I realized that maybe something I write would set the tone for someones day, that maybe there are other ways to get your point across, that maybe sometimes we need to reread what we write, maybe as bloggers we need to be aware of how our words could be perceived by someone else. I know when I am in the moment and blogging, it is just a flow, a stream that pours out of me... if you will. That maybe in my moment I am not really thinking how what you read over your morning coffee will affect you, most times I actually do think about how what I have to say will affect you. I like to write thought provoking pieces.
The Central Valley Moms post was actually a very provocative piece on reality show, "Toddlers and Tiaras" and how after being sick with the flu the writer found herself enthralled and disgusted with the show and how it promotes little girls being sexually objectified. I read the whole thing. It was writing that was puncuated with sarcasm and from the view of the writer as she watched this show with her own daughter. I know that her comparing the flu to cancer was not intentionally put there to upset someone. Just the same that phrase could have been left out, had it been, would I be writing about cancer today? In particular would I be writing about Abby and her fight against cancer, or her family? Would you know who she was, and would she matter to you if you didnt read this? All I know is that when I look at Abby's photos or watch her on youtube I see my grandson and how blessed I am that he is healthy. I thank Abby's family for reminding me that every day is a day to be cherished with the ones you love for tomorrow is never promised. So remember in your day that the things you do or say or write about affect someone somewhere. Thanks Mr. Needham for reminding me of my responsibility as a blogger, I needed that reality check.
To learn more about Abby visit her page at this link!/AngelsForAbby, to view Abby's videos on go to this link  or to participate in fundraising for Abby and the Needham family go to this link!/FundraisingForAbbyGrace

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How Alzheimer's Robbed Me Of An Adult Relationship With My Mother

I don't really like writing about my Mother, Ruby....not for the reasons you might think. Lately I have been thinking of her a lot, more than usual. I wonder if she were alive today how different my life would be. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1992 the same year that my daughter Destinee was born, the decline of my mother was quite rapid spanning a 10 year period. In that ten year period she went from a shy but active woman in her late fifties who worked outside of the home and cooked, cleaned, who had always taken great care of her family, to someone who could no longer do her normal every day job duties that she had done for 25 years. I noticed about a year prior to her diagnosis that she seemed to be more down then usual, becoming less interested in things that she used to love. Cooking, she either never cooked anymore or practically set the house on fire because she had forgotten a pan of beans on the stove. Decorating for the holidays, she decorated for every single holiday especially Christmas, but the Christmas before my daughter was born she just didn't even care, no stockings, no creche, no decorated table ornaments. She stopped crocheting and sewing too, things she did beautifully. I had told my oldest sister that something was wrong with her in June of 1991 by November, my Aunt who worked with her also noticed she was confused by the things she had done hundreds of times everyday this led her to quit her job of 25 plus years. My sister and Father saw for themselves as I had moved out of state. I was only gone for 3 months and when I came back she was being seen by the Alzheimer's Institute in Fresno California, before my daughter was born in May of 1992. My Father Robert, my sister Loretta, and my brother Kenneth and I sat down at a big long table with doctors from the Institute who said she had Alzheimer's, early onset to be exact. They also told us that there was no cure and really only a handful of medicines they could give her. They told us also that the type of Alzheimer's she had meant my sister or I had a fifty fifty chance of getting it too. This news devastated our family and from that day on I tried to learn as much as I could about it, this was pre-internet, and Alzheimer's research was barely beginning to be relevant.

There were times I would care for her so my Dad could go to the races or get some errands done, and I would go to his house with my young daughter and make sure she would have lunch or dinner and would be ok. Sort of like babysitting, babysitting my own Mother. She would try to leave and walk out the door and yelled, "Robert! Robert! Robert!" in a constant succession and when she could not find him she would go into a cussing tirade that consisted of rapidly repeating "Goddammit Goddammit Goddammit Goddammit!" looking back at that is quite comical, especially if you knew my Mother. A demure, petite, gentle woman who hated foul language of any kind! I would try to calm her or distract her. Often she would repeat the same story of her brother, Manuel and how he had went to World War II and how once he came home to visit and she could see him walking from a distance as he kicked up dust she knew it was him through the dust clouds because of the shiny epaulets on his shoulders and she ran to greet him. Other times she would get mad at me and tell  me to "Shut Up" she had even pushed me a few times. The conversation or the battle would inevitably come to an end and her sundowning would stop and she would go to her room and I would tuck her in but she refused to take her tennis shoes off, for fear my Dad would come home and she would not be able to leave with him again. My oldest daughter was only 4 at the time and she would peek into my parents room and watch me put  Grandma to bed. One day she asked me "Mommy why does Grandma Ruby go to sleep with her tennis shoes on?" I looked at her and told her "Because when Papa Robert gets home she will be ready to go."

When my daughter started going to daycare so did my Mother, she went to respite care during the day so that my father could have a break and take care of things he needed to do. He cared for her most of the time, refusing to put her in a nursing home. I would pop in at the Cay Dare as my daughter Destinee used to say and visit. They had about 6 clients total in varying stages of Alzheimer's, some were calm and quiet, some were active, some had good days and some had bad. The respite care provided meals and activities. They all seemed to respond to music and loved when records were played, my Mother especially loved Kenny Rogers. The door to the Respite care was painted in a Trump L'oil bookcase so that clients would not try to leave the premises. This did not stop my mother from walking out and getting 3 blocks away before they found her. That was our biggest fear, that she would wander off somewhere. A year after that situation when I had my second daughter Kassidee she declined more.

Roles were reversed and when my second daughter was two she was pretty much bedridden. My father had set up a hospital bed in the living room for her. She spent most of her time there or in a wheelchair that was used to sit her up and feed her. She did not speak now, but I would look into her eyes and try to see a glimmer of the woman she once was...sometimes I would get happily surprised because she would respond as if she was still in there! She was wearing adult diapers and would get mad at me for changing her! My oldest daughter noticed she wore diapers, and I had to explain to her that Grandma Ruby could not go to the potty anymore. She shrugged and said "Oh she has accidents?" There were days after caring for my Mother that I would go either home or to work and feel like God had forsaken me. How could he let my Mother, a woman who would and never did hurt anyone get this terrible disease. How was that fair and I told him one day that I Hated Him, that I would not believe in a God who would allow my Mother to get ill like this.

I did not get to enjoy my adult life with my Mother as I should have. She did not even know my youngest daughter Makenzee at all. She would have fawned over her beautiful Granddaughters, she would have baked cookies with them, taught them how to tie their shoes or brushed and braided their hair. She would have babysat in a pinch and made them grill cheese sandwiches or told my dad to take them to McDonald's for a Happy Meal. She would have made them frilly dresses and crocheted hats or slippers for them. She would have been the proudest at their school events, dried their tears when they skinned their knees or comforted them when a someone made fun of them. She would have been their champion like she was mine. Instead my daughters either vaguely remember her or don't remember her at all and that is the cruelest thing this disease does. It robs not only the Alzheimer's sufferer of memory, but robs those left behind in its wake of any opportunity to have future memories, cherished memories.

I have some friends who occasionally complain about their meddling, nosey, pain in the ass Mothers and when I hear that I get so mad and most times I say to them at least you have your Mother. To which they drop their jaw and in apologetic tones tell me they are sorry....I tell them, "Don't tell me your sorry. Go hug your Mother."

What I would not give to have her here again even for one day so we could catch up on the last 10 years, so she could offer me comfort and tell me she loved me, or share a good laugh or even a good cry. My Mother was eventually put into a nursing home where she lived the rest of her days. My father visited her every day and I saw her often. She passed away on May 2, 2002, my oldest Daughter's birthday due to complications of rectal polyps that were cancerous, but her real death was years before.
I have since come to terms with God and I have forgiven him for taking my Mother from me and my daughters, clearly he needed the angel that she was more than we did here on earth. I know she is constantly watching over me and her Granddaughter's and Great Grandson and that makes me content, but it does not mean I do not miss her every single minute of every single day.

September is World Alzheimer's month. I want to urge all of you to be involved in turning Facebook purple, the signature color for Alzheimer's Awareness, coincidentally one of my Mothers favorite shades! Turn Facebook purple to support Alzheimer's Awareness on September 21st, go to this link to learn how..... thank you for honoring the memory of my mother, Ruby Gonzales and those affected by Alzheimer's, it touches us all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I want to live in the now! "observance of 9-11 will be as varied as those who were shaped by this tragedy"

This week has been filled with a bag of mixed emotions, the media is pushing the "We will never forget" phrase into our homes. Today Rudy Giuliani, "Americas Mayor" was on "The View", and children whose parents were lost in the 911 tragedy were seen in a promotion for news show 20/20 that the inimitable Barbara Walters will be a part of. People on Facebook are posting patriotic profile pictures and asking questions like "where were you on that tragic day", and posting a copy and paste "rolling" flag as their status. It was under one of those on a friends post of that flag that I read someones comment, "I can never forget, I was there!" The wording in that cut me deep. I thought yes, those people that were there will live with that memory every single day of their lives, try as they might to live their lives in some realm of normalcy, that day left them anything but normal.
I know where I was and if you follow my blog you will know that I had just been incarcerated for domestic violence. The day that I heard the news I was in a holding cell, with other women getting ready to go to court. It had just happened and the officers were in shock and at that moment they seemed more human to me, then when I had been arrested, and they somehow I think, saw us as more human. They were quieter, more reserved, and struck as hard by the image they had just seen on the Good Morning America telecast as we were listening to their second hand accounts. Immediately I thought of my daughters and wondered if I would see them again. I thought "my God I just want to feel their little hands in mine and hear their laughter, smell them and kiss them.." I, like everyone else around me felt the world would come to an end. Would I ever tell them I loved them again? Here it is 10 years later and they are growing up. I am a grandma! I was released 1 month later and from that day on I vowed to get my kids back home where they belonged, and I did. I look back on that day with the same feeling as my friend's friend, not because I was there in New York on that fateful day, but because I was already going through something I never thought I would.
His tone resonates with me...maybe some people don't want to remember, and that's not to say that out of any disrespect for the souls lost on that day or to any of the survivors or surviving family members who have carried on under the weight of their enormous loss. I just understand...wanting to forget. September 1st had come and went and I did not realize until days later that it had been the 10 year anniversary of the incident that I went to jail for. Not until I caught a glimpse of a local headline "Woman Stabs Boyfriend" in the local newspaper. When I saw that, a flood of emotion shook me to my very core and it was as if everyone around me was going in hyper speed as I stood still in their vortex. I felt anxious and sick and walked to my bus to cry. That headline had taken me back to the whole moment in time my life changed. As I write this I am flooded with emotion and feeling for those survivors of 9-11. How must they feel? Emotions so close to the surface everyday. How do they react to a trigger? An image, a sound, a smell, a word, a thought, feeling, a headline that takes them back to that day.
I will put a patriotic wreath on my door Sunday morning and I will have my moment of silence, and prayer for those lost and still living, but I will not tune in to the shows that will bombard us on the news or the net. I know most of those stories are stories of hope and survivors, but I just will not fuel the media frenzy, well meaning or not. I don't want to go back to that day, I want to live in the now. I want to go to church, hear my kids laugh, make them a Sunday dinner and sit and watch movies. Hug them and kiss them and love them. That will be how I observe 9-11.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sharing your cleavage on Facebook is inappropriate if you are over 40.....ahhh bite me!

So at what age are we supposed to stop being sexy? When is it that a woman has to watch for the type of profile picture we put on our Facebook page. Just a thought today as a friend of a friend had someone report her profile picture as inappropriate, yet I myself have seen the offending picture and it is quite harmless! So a lil cleavage shows and its not much by the way...its a tasteful picture of a woman who is also a MOM, a single mom at that, who just turned 40 and looks and feels great about who she is. So whats wrong with being sexy over 40....well shit then I better go hide my cleavage away since I am not only a mom but a granny too!

I am 45 and feel that I am way more sexier now than I ever was before...even if I have grandma arms and some extra fluffiness. I'm pretty confident and feel good about myself most of the time. Then there are days like today where I look and feel like a frumpy roots have not been done, my skin is showing sun spots, I'm in jammy pants and a grease stained tee and heaven forbid my most mortal frump I have dreaded swapmeet feet! There is nothing that takes away more from a pretty woman who looks great and is dressed well, than when she has on sandals or flipflops and her feet look like she walked through the swapmeet. You know you have seen them,dry cracked and craggy heels, polish chipping on overgrown toenails. Let me just add this footnote bwaaahhaahahh! I love my feet, I have a big foot fetish and love beautifully pedicured feet! I have terribly neglected them for 4 weeks now and they are horrid it took a lot out of me to post the following pics but hey if you've seen me at my worst then you will appreciate me at my best!Wow writing that makes me want to go dye my roots and give myself a pedi! So yeah today is not my sexiest day.

But what if it was, what if I took this beautiful picture and I wanted to share with the world how wonderful I looked in that minute. What if I wanted to let the world know that damn for a 45 year old grandma I look pretty damned good. What if I felt confident and great about myself? What if I wanted to see comments from my friends that said "You Look Mahvelous" or "SEXY MAMA", what if a friends friend saw it and decided that I, as a mother of 3 daughters and grandma to one spirited boy had no business showing you my cleavage, or acting that way at all! What the fuck people! Worry about yourselves...if you don't like my cleavage then don't look at it but don't hate me because I feel good about myself. Maybe tomorrow I won't feel so confident, maybe tomorrow I will stand in the mirror and feel like I am too fat, too ugly and too old to be SEXY. I don't need to let some idiot that I don't even know give me a complex, because damn it took me 40 plus years to love myself. So sorry if you have not gotten there yet! SEXINESS is only accumulated over time by women who have earned the right to their self esteem. If you have ever hated your looks you will understand that phrase...there is no man or no other person that I will allow to define me as a woman....I earned that after having three babies, 1 miscarriage, 1 tubal pregnancy, gallstone surgery, gaining 40 pounds and getting my prematurely grey hair, living through domestic violence and homelessness, surviving my loves addiction, yup for sure I earned the right to feel good about who I am today!

So let me challenge all you NOT UR TYPICAL Glammas and single Mamas out there to love yourself and post the picture of yourself you think you look and felt the most beautiful in... do it already you have earned the right to share your sexiness...this ones for you Denise!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How PCOS & Menstruation Almost Held My Football Playing Daughter Hostage...

Well many changes happening in the last few weeks that I have not really focused on working on my blog...but here it is football season....and if you follow me you know that my youngest daughter plays football. I am so amazed by this kid o mine! I am proud of her for many reasons. Football season almost did not happen this year. About 2 months ago my daughter who is 11 was sick for about three days with stomach pain, laying in bed, refusing to eat, no tv, no computer, nothing could get her out of bed not even the year end party for the Little League Minors team she was on before being called up to a Majors team. I thought it was the stomach flu. By the third day I decided to take her into the doctor because I began to worry she had appendicitis. So off we went to the emergency room. We spent hours, waiting for lab results which led the doctor to order more tests, her blood work was a little off and the doctor thought it may be appendicitis also. He ordered a lower GI MRI which involves the colon, a balloon and dye...needless to say my daughter was begging me not to let them do this test. I reassured her and told her it was important that this test needed to be done to see if she in fact had appendicitis. She relented and actually did better than some grown men would do. We waited and waited some more and finally when we were put in a room the doctor came in and gave us her diagnosis. PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. He said she had rather large cysts on her ovaries, cysts that form as the egg is released to the fallopian tube. Instead of being released the egg stays in the follicle creating cysts, when these cysts rupture or grow they cause severe pain. This was the reason for her pain.

He handed me a sheet with some information, and basically sent me on my way.....telling her to expect her period soon. With that news she sat in a funk for a while thinking her "thingy" as she called it, was going to arrive and ruin her life as she knew it...playing baseball with the boys....playing football with the boys....hanging out being one of the boys. I was just thankful it was summer and prayed if she did get her "thingy" that it would be during summer break. She had withered, the spark absent from her after this diagnosis.

As I learned more about PCOS I learned that she may never menstruate, that diabetes was highly likely as the body builds insulin resistance over time. I learned that testosterone is at higher levels in girls and women with PCOS, that body fat distribution is more masculine and that this is probably why it has been harder for her to loose weight. I also learned that facial hair, hair loss and acne can occur. I learned that she may never get a period or that she could have problems with fertility. I realized that PCOS had probably been at work in her body for the last few years, had PCOS sabotaged her or enhanced her athletic ability?

I began to understand why my youngest lovee was who she was. My tomboy, sportsnut, laidback go with the flow, likeable, wonderful kid. A girl who could throw a baseball so hard that when it hit her coaches foot his big toenail fell off the next day! A girl who plays tackle football with the boys and who was not just good at it but a stand out. A girl who is known by all the local youth sports teams and coaches for her talent. A girl who was and is admired by little girls and big girls alike.

So when my lovee announced she did not want to play football on the heels of this diagnosis my heart was heavy and I was sad... Menstruation had taken another female hostage. I was probably sad for selfish reasons because as I have said before my kid is just that dang good! I love to watch her play on the offensive and defensive lines smashing them boys! I had the registration papers for football and even asked her more than once. Hmmmphh, there I sat resigned that she would not play this year, she said maybe next year. I was content, at least we still had baseball, right? A few weeks passed and still no arrival of the "thingy". I took her to her pediatrician and I got a referral to the Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic at Childrens Hospital in Madera, a wonderful hospital that we are so lucky to live close to. I had to really press the doctor for a special referral. But Mamabear gets what Mamabear wants when it comes to her cubs. My girl was returning out of her slump...blossoming into the girl she once was.

I had read in the paper about the last bit of signups and still held out hope. I had planned to go to college night classes since she was not going to play and it was when her sister told me that she had mentioned playing again but that she knew I was doing something. That something being school. So I asked her if she wanted to play? She sheepishly said "Well I wanted too...but", I stopped her in mid sentence and said OK. So I raised the money for her $75.00 registration fee by selling BBQ rib dinners and the next day, the last day of sign ups we made it down to the park to sign her up.

Today was her first game and she took the field as a co-captain with two of her team mates and I was beaming with pride. As fate would have it we just moved into a house across from the high school stadium where ironically games are being played this year instead of at the neighboring Jr. High. So I made this great sign to greet everyone especially the team they were going to play today. I sat in the stands and cheered her in this terrible miserable heat and my chest was filled with pride as I watched my three year old grandson cheer her on! I lost my voice and sweated like a pig as I watched her break from the triple teaming the other team was imposing on her, because lets face it two ole regular boys were't gonna take her down, as she broke and made a run for the quarterback pressuring him he threw it right into the hands of her team mate. BEAUTIFUL! Nope PCOS or the "thingy" will not hold this baseball, tackle football playing girl o mine hostage again....The game was a tie and thats ok we will take that, it was a hardfought game, but you better be ready next time boys!

My daughter Maks journey into treatment for PCOS.....

Today is the first day of PCOS Awareness day and the first day of my 11 year old daughters ongoing treatment for PCOS.....hope you follow our journey!

Well today was a long day. I took my daughter Mak to her first appointment with the endocrinologist at Children's Hospital. I am feeling quite good about her being treated there. We have a barrage of tests, blood work and ultrasounds ahead of us. I am glad that I was insistent and advocated for my child to be placed in the clinics care. It is called the Diabetes and Endocrinology clinic. Though Mak does not have diabetes, the likelihood that she develop it is high. Not only due to heredity but also because PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome creates insulin resistance in the body. Insulin resistance leads to diabetes.

We learned that PCOS can be treated to lessen the symptoms with metaformin, a drug used to treat diabetes. We learned diet and excercise are key to helping PCOS symptoms lessen. So sports will definitely continue for Mak. We spoke to our endocrinologist at length today which reassured me that Mak getting diagnosed early was  a blessing for us. The earlier you diagnose it the more treatable the symptoms are!
Seems we will conquer this PCOS and not let it run her life! She is such a great wonderful kid who has a lot of potential. I would only hope that others who suffer from this advocate for themselves, be insistent find the right doctor or physician. PCOS was not that diagnosable 20 years ago but great strides have been made in this field.
So it is with hope and positivity that I write this post tonight that my daughter will not be prisoner to PCOS that she will have wonderful treatment and a great outcome! From time to time I will update you on her treatment and pass along any information we learn...PCOS is so common yet not talked about often or even considered in girls my daughters age, which is 11. Usually sufferers are not diagnosed until they are in their late twenties, or thirties. To learn more about PCOS please visit these links   or join this Facebook support group!/pcosfight.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

If only life had the EASY button...

Well lots of changes going on in the house and have not had much downtime to blog...feeling the blog withdrawals right now. We are in the process of moving and getting ready for school. Football practice has started for my daughter and my other daughter is ready to get her license. Change is coming and its all for a good cause... good opportunities and positive outcomes. That along with work issues have been consuming my day so don't think I have forgotten you I am still here. I am researching info for a post on childhood obesity in California so stay tuned and thanks for following me! Once everything calms down and we are in the new place it will all be much smoother! Now to find the EASY button..where is it?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Facebook And The Case Of The "Voluntarily Missing" Mother....

Today a local woman who went missing a few days ago, has been "found" and classified by the local Police as "voluntarily missing". I had actually never heard of that particular phrase, my personal choice is "I am running away to join the circus!" I am not making light of the situation but rather saying I understand.  In some of my recent posts  I have blogged about the racial bias of missing persons cases in the eyes of the media. How missing caucasians are more likely to be headline news than say a missing black woman. So of course I had a rush of emotion when I clicked on the Facebook link to my local news show and it said Fresno woman goes missing, and she was white..... I was at first mad that here was another white  missing woman getting media coverage, then I remembered what I had written. "When someone is missing, there are those that are left behind to deal with the events that will follow, the people that love them. I hope none of us ever have to experience the emotions they do every moment of the day not knowing if their loved one is ok. In all of these instances race does not matter, time does." So I instead requested to friend the missing woman on Facebook as her family had asked the public to do to be able to download a flyer that I would post at my job near a Greyhound Bus Terminal. I saw her ex husband and her daughter on the newscast and knew that they did not deserve to have to deal with this.

So when I saw the recent feed on my Facebook that she had been "found". I felt relief for them and was glad she was ok. I know a lot of other people will not think it was ok for her to do what she did.To just up and leave her child and people that cared about her. To leave them with nothing to go on. Then I also felt a sort of kindred spirit in her. I don't know about anyone else but I can really honestly say I too had thought just taking off and disappearing may be best for those I loved, that they would be ok. Some will say that is cowardice to run away from your "problems". Everyone has problems right?

Yes everyone does, but sometimes those problems are so overwhelming to us as individuals and the mere thought of being a failure, or unable to handle the stress of what our lives have become, is too much to bear. I do not know all of the details of why she left, but it does not matter. I understand why she did it. Maybe you won't. What I do know is what a powerful thing Facebook is. Her page had over 4000 "friends" all praying for her safe return, ready to go and post flyers or go on searches...amazing! What a great community of people in the Central California Valley we have. I hope those same people will be open minded about her "return" and will be nonjudgemental and instead be grateful that the outcome was not far worse if not for her sake, then for her daughters.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lets Get Together!

I am in need of some friend time some much needed adult conversation, so I invited some friends to come and hangout Friday nite at my house. I am one of those people that would rather sit in a backyard with my friends than sit in a stuffy restaurant. I am a jeans and tee shirt gal. Of course I'm going to cook some kickass food but I also asked my friends to byob and also told them it would be a potluck type barbecue... everyone contributes and we have a good time. It has been a long time since I let my hair down and kicked it with my buds. This will be a no frills affair everyone will bring their own chairs and we will have a drink under the stars...just like this song..heard it today and it summed up exactly how I feel about this Friday.

Good music, good food, good drinks,good friends,good times, what more could a girl ask for! See you then!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I have become obsessed with the Casey Anthony murder trial and now the aftermath.. I predicted in an earlier post back in April, after seeing a news show that I thought the jury would find her not guilty. I stated at the time that I did not agree with the verdict, but unfortunately it is today a reality. It is also a reality that today Casey, the most vilified woman in the world, was sentenced and will be out of jail next week. I watched the replay of her appearance in court and I watched as news reporters speculate on her behavior. I stand by my belief that she did murder her child so she could live a carefree life. I watch her demeanor like everyone else and speculate also, I don't get the joy in her face, the hair down and flowing. I don't get how she thinks she will be able to go on living her life. If I were her I would go into hiding and not come out, ever! She today is the most hated person in the world right up there with Hitler and Bin Laden, and we know what happened to them.

The jury in this instance followed the letter of the law, even though they felt she had done something the law did not permit them to find her guilty! That is your Constitution at work for you people. The public is outraged and does not understand and I am one of them...yet I do understand in a way regarding the law. Casey is just fortunate that the law was on her side....I will leave it at that.
I feel the obsession or passion people have regarding this case is due to the fact that if it were anyone else, they would have reported their child missing immediately.We want to KNOW WHY she failed to report her daughter missing, and WHY she lived the way she did after her child disappeared. We want to KNOW WHAT happened. Possibly none of those questions will ever be answered.

So to honor Caylee's memory I too have turned on my porch light and I am going to sign the petition to create a Caylee's Law. The law would make it a felony for a parent/guardian if they did not report their child missing immediately. To sign that petition go to this link this link has gone viral with over 250,000 Americans signing this petition won't you please sign to create hope for another child in honor of Caylee's memory. This will become Caylee Marie Anthony's legacy.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Lacey Peterson, Natalee Holloway, Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart. All missing person cases, all white. You recognize their names immediately. Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, Tamika Huston, Phylicia Barnes, Evelyn A. Shelton, Brittany Renee Williams, all missing persons cases, all black. Have you even heard of these cases? Some of which are part of  cases that are linked to several other missing black women, some who sadly have been found dead. Some currently open.

Take the case of 16 year old Phylicia Barnes, who went missing in late December 2010, and was found dead on April 20th. Her case though publicized on Good Morning America did not garner the media attention that famous missing person cases like Peterson, Holloway, Klaas or Smart's did. Phylicia Barnes who was a straight A student and had aspirations of becoming a child psychologist went to visit her sister in Baltimore and went missing a few days after Christmas, it was not until three weeks later that this case made national headlines. Sadly Philica Barnes was found dead 4 months later under suspicious circumstances. When Holloway went missing the media was quickly involved within a few days after her parents had flown to Aruba. She is still making headlines today. Her mother even has a show dedicated to helping other families of missing people.

It has been my opinion that when a person of color, including children goes missing it is not as big a deal to the national media. In most instances the blond haired, blue eyed child, or woman that goes missing under mysterious circumstances will get the headline before the black child, or woman, who also goes missing under mysterious circumstances. It is such a sad truth that this happens and it is unconscionable in my opinion.

When someone goes missing don't their families suffer the same emotions, whether black or white? Is it the socio-economic double standard? Peterson, Klaas, and Smart were from pretty well off families, we know this because of the coverage. I don't have stats on the missing Black persons families backgrounds, because there was no mention of their economic status. Seems to me the attitude of the media is that they are all about ratings and putting a missing white person on the morning news attracts more viewers statistically speaking. It is a fact. Its also a sad fact that law enforcement takes some cases less serious than others, especially kids who are classified as runaways, maybe there is a legitimate reason they run away. When  black children run away who cares right? No one is going to miss them...except their families.

Several foundations and organizations have been created because people had to somehow continue the legacy of their loved ones who were missing and in most cases found dead. Here are links to several of those sites.

When I was researching info for this post I clicked on link for the Spartanburg County, South Carolina's link for missing persons, and though Evelyn A. Shelton is currently missing, a photo of a woman who has been missing since 2002 is the only missing person listed on that site. She is white, blonde haired and blue eyed! Terrible! This proves my point perfectly.

Evelyn A. Shelton 42, has been missing since May 20, 2011, when she left to meet a study date in Spartanburg, South Carolina, her car was found the next day on the outskirts of Spartanburg, an orange HHR. Please watch this video made by a family member and recently posted on If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Evelyn please contact the numbers provided at the end of the slideshow or go to this link. When someone is missing, there are those that are left behind to deal with the events that will follow, the people that love them. I hope none of us ever have to experience the emotions they do every moment of the day not knowing if their loved one is ok.  In all of these instances race does not matter, time does.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rap is for Blacks Only and Country is for Whites Only, tell that to Jason and Ludacris

The music we listen to helps to define who we are. I think it does. I like everything...A 3rd generation Mexican American, Cali Girl who listens to Beethoven, opera, the ladies GAGA and Antebellum, Slipknot, Enya, Harry Connick Jr, Led Zeppelin and everything else in between. In my house growing up we always had a stereo, the kind that played albums and had a needle. That thing would usually be cranked up with music on a Saturday, the eras I grew up in had some great music 60s, 70s, lets just say the last 45 years of my life I have enjoyed music from every genre there was, is. I like rap, I don't like the slap my bitch up or super explicit rap but I do like artists like Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tupac, BIGGIE, I love Nicki Minaj lately...she has broken some barriers that Lil Kim could not. I also love, absolutely love country music! I watched Hee Haw as a kid, funny right? My dad was watching it for the T and A, and I was actually watching Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and Willie Nelson. I have seen people make derrogatory comments about country music on Facebook and I think to myself...if you cannot appreciate country music than what the hell are you doing listening to rap? My girls dad actually reintroduced me to my love of country music, a big 220 pound, bald, tattoed half Native American, half Black guy. Tell him something about the country songs he likes...he loves rap too and well he loves all kinds of music.

Doesn't Country music like Rap tell a story? Country music like rap talks about women, cars, drinkin beer and living their lives as they know it. Certainly all good music does but, I think these two genres have a lot more in common than most people think. Country has been going mainstream for years, something a lot of Country Purists do not like. There is Old School Country like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and then there is Country Rock like Lynnard Skynnard and Kid Rock, and now alternative like Lady Antebellum. I am not a purist so when I see someone like Jason Aldean and Ludacris together in a video I just smile because I have just proven my point. Watch these videos and tell me what  you think. They all make reference to their "Country" way of life... Why should the color of your skin dictate what music you listen to? Music is a universal language that creates emotion in all of us, when we hear certain songs it takes us back to that time when a memory was created. How much more alike can humans get?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hate Crimes In My Little Town...The Terrorist Down The Street...

I live in a rambling little town that is geologically the center of California. It is an ag community, grapevines, and fruit and nut trees are lined up in rows that when seen from a distance are a site to behold. At any given time of the year something is in bloom. The town was historically founded when a large flume was built to run lumber, the industry of the time, down from the mountains of the Sierra Forest to the valley floor of Madera, whose name is Spanish for lumber. Most all of its inhabitants were immigrants of some kind. It has a rich and varied history. People of all ethnicity's settled and called this little town their home. Some families today can trace their lineage to those early settlers. Today Madera is made up of people of many ethnicity's, Italian, German, Russian, Mexican,Chinese, Japanese, African American, Native American, Pakistani, Middle Eastern.

It surprises me that with all of the different races that live here, there is still a racial unharmony that rears its ugly head. Just down the street from where I live a man Donny Eugene Mower, a member of the American National Brotherhood, perpetrated hate crimes against several different walks of life. He targeted an Islamic Mosque, throwing a brick through a window and leaving signs. One of which said, "No temple for the god of terrorism at ground zero", he also targeted a United Methodist Church leaving a sign that read "Homosexual Pastors is this a Christ honoring church, or are you awakening the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah?" This hate fueled terrorist, because that is what he is by definition, also through a Molotov cocktail at our local planned parenthood because he was, "against abortion". How did this man who worked as a bus driver for children slip through the cracks... How was he even able to hide his allegiance to the White Brotherhood? I wonder how hard it was to deal with people of a different race or belief  on a daily basis. He must have been a good fucking actor. Cause he lived right in the thick of a varied neighborhood of Hispanics, Caucasians, Blacks and Middle Eastern Islamic doctors offices. He lived less than a mile from one of the local high schools, and middle schools, and an elementary school.

So with his arrest by the FBI  he confessed to his crimes and our little town was shocked that this could happen here. Here it was Spring, 2011 and almonds were not the only thing in full bloom, so was hate. I was not shocked because hate and racism have run rampant in this town for a long time. Racial lines are still defined and though somewhat blurred still visible if you are in certain parts of the county. You cannot be Black or Hispanic in certain towns, at least not without saying you are a tourist... I see it in my hometown newspaper when people call in to the Red Line, a section of paper devoted  once a week to peoples outrage at various issues, most of them revolve around "those people" shh... they are talking about the Mexicans from Mexico... you know those dirty, lazy, living on welfare, living 10 deep in a garage, good enough to pick my food but not good enough to have to dinner as a guest Mexicans.. yeah them. Then there are those people who run every gas station in town. The towelhead wearing, slurpee selling, don't touch the magazine without buying it, smelling of cumin, well actually its garam masala, you know those folks,trying to take over the world terrorist plotting, tightasses. Sucks to be a shade or two darker than the average white folks around here.. Oh they smile at the blacks, too intimidated to tell a black person anything to their faces, but yup they talk shit behind their backs one is immune. Their is a whole section of town called nigger park and the public pool was called the nigger dip back in the day. No, hate is still alive and kicking in this town... we just don't talk about it unless its anonymously in the Red Line.

So what do I tell my kids? I tell them that no matter where you go or what you achieve there will always be someone to say you are less than. Its what you think of yourselves that matter and people who want to hate you because of your skin color, your sex, your sexual preference, religious beliefs or last name, don't deserve the privilege of knowing you! Its really all about how you respond, as the local Islamic community and Methodist Church did, with grace and dignity when they were attacked. Hate is based in ignorance or fear or the unknown. Those are things that in time can be changed, just hope I get to witness that day...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

When You Are The Girl A Shade Lighter, You Aren't Black Enough to be "Black"..

How do you raise mixed race children? Do you raise them to know their two, or in my case 3 cultures. Or do you raise them to identify with how they appear?  What happens when their own race excludes them? This may see like an odd question but look at the picture of my lovees.

My oldest on the left is much darker than her sister next to her and my daughter to the right of me is a shade darker than my light skinned lovelie. Then there is my grandson who is more African American than my daughters are and he is completely not African American looking. I call my girls the Neopolitan sisters, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. My lovelies are 1/4 African American, 1/4 Native American, from their father and 1/2 Mexican American from me. I have blogged about this before, how when I was pregnant with my first daughter I was terrified she would be born with locks I did not know how to comb. Nevermind that my hair is supercurly and tends to have a kitchen that is quite I worried too that she would be really dark and people would not believe she was mine. She was born and was born perfect, and a beautiful cinnamon color. She looked just like her Dad. After that it did not concern me when I became pregnant with my other children. I have raised all of my girls with a knowledge of all of their cultures, raised them to be proud of being who they are.

As they grew and went to school I realized that for my oldest she had problems with black girls liking her. Probably because their boyfriends liked her. Thats the conclusion I drew. Was it her lighter skin, her "good" hair that she could toss from side to side. What was it that the black girls disliked about her?  I never thought my children would experience exclusion from their own races. My other daughters pass as Mexicans, and really dont have a lot of issues with their friends until they announce their racial makeup, and then they get the "yeah rights!" when people learn they are black too. My middle daughter Vanilla, I will call her..has had a best friend that is black since third grade, her friends don't like my daughter, she does not "look black enough, or act black enough", these are my daughters words, they are 15 and 16 now. So how do you look and act black enough anyway?  That does not stop them from continuing their friendship. They have just grown up and gone different ways but still to this day hang out and call eachother sisters. 

In talking to friends that have mixed race or biracial children I have often hear the same complaint. The black girls don't like their daughters either....the sons they have no problem with, but the daughters a different story.  I do and don't get it I know a lot of Mexicans that did not like me, because to them I was whitewashed. I was also very fair skinned as far as Mexicans go. I did not grow up speaking Spanish and my Mom did not make tripas or homemade tortillas, she did make lots of other great food. I never worked in the fields and neither did my parents. So I was deemed "too good" to hang out with certain people.

What goes in in the mind of a dark complected girl when they are growing up that makes them dislike a girl the shade or two lighter. Does she grow up feeling inferior? Having less self esteem?  Did someone make her learn to feel threatened by a white woman? Or is it that age old don't let no white woman take your black man Sistas! Aint no Barbie doll lookin bitch gonna be with him! Oh noooah! This is for lack of a better description reverse discrimination.

So I get that some people don't think mixing races is right or not for them. Personally it was not a race thing for me. My Dad swears it was, that I had sex with a black man to spite him....hah. Actually I only ever had two Mexican boyfriends, before I was 13, after that they were white. I was an equal opportunity dater. I actually don't like (ughh I know I will get flack for this) Mexican men. Go figure. I don't get how a person is supposed to control who they fall in love with? Guess whos coming to dinner? Jungle Fever... I hate that stereotyping thing we are all guilty of it, besides it is not always a white woman with a black man... there are plenty of white men with black women.

All I can say is love who you love, and love yourself enought to not hate my lightskinned daughters before you take the time to truly know them. They aren't here to compete with you, embrace the beauty within. If we all had no skin and could only be judged by our words, or our actions then we would genuinely "know" a person. Besides I dont think blood comes a lighter shade and we all bleed dont we?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do you racial profile when you talk to someone on the phone?

My daughter made a comment the other day and I looked at her and said "Do you realize that is a racist comment?" The context of her comment was how someone "sounded" when they spoke. This engaged us in a conversation about how we as humans judge someone not only by their appearance but also if it is a first impression, how they sound on the phone. I have a great phone voice by the way, been answering the phone for a long time having worked in a flower shop I learned how to "sound pleasant".  People that would call for me did not know it was me they were talking to. The thing I am talking about is can you tell if someone is African American on the phone, or Mexican, or Caucasian? My daughter said yes she could and I was appalled! What a biggoted attitude. From my kid, who by the way is Mexican, African American and Native American.....blech, that made me reflect on my biggoted attitudes. Clearly she learned them from me, being the primary influence in her life.
Lets go back to my parents, both Mexican Americans, Mom not a racist bone in her body..Dad on the other hand I would describe as bold and brash and bigoted. His opinions of others were formed by his abrasive fathers attitudes about niggers and wops, lops, and spics and beaners. My Dad could best be described as a Mexican Archie Bunker...ironic I know. The utterance of the word nigger to him was commonplace, he grew up in Little Okie, a rural section of the town, (which is in Central California by the way) we live in, which was predominately Hispanic and Black, everyone knew everyone. They were cordial and polite to one another in passing, but you never invited anyone of another race to your home. This was circa 1950's.
So hearing that often in my house growing up it became no big deal. We never said it as kids, but as teens we said it and as an adult I have said it. We all have, usually it was in reference to my girls family had no kind words in describing him. My love has said it freely too, he being half African American. So why is it ok for two people of any race to call each other the racial slur that they will not allow others to refer to them as? Odd.....if you do not want to proliferate a racial epithet then don't encourage its use in any way! So when I hear my kids or their friends refer to one another as "ma nucka"----I cringe.....but I have said it too...does this make me racist? I think it makes me guilty of being ignorant on occasion.

So back to the phone voice.....while it is possible for you to be able to decide what color someone is by their voice, you may not. Some dialects and accents are very regional. I explained to my daughter how if we would have stayed living in Minnesota she would have sounded like one of its inhabitants, saying words like Bo-uht and go-uht instead of boat and goat, or phrases like, "pop and brat" or "can I come with". Or if we would have stayed in Missouri she would've had a southern drawl as thick as honey. The inflections we speak with are a result of what we have grown up around or the people we associate with. Talking that, talking Mexican is that. So to classify people as sounding like a certain race is really identifying who they identify with. Isn't it cool to talk in text now? I guess I have been guilty of it too, racially profiling someone based on the way they speak. Actually I am guilty of hating how people try to sound educated when they speak and get all the terms wrong, that is a bigger deal to me. In writing this I find that I have come to this conclusion, you sound like you...

This is the second in a series of blogposts about tolerance...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bullying Is Everyones Problem

I have been wanting to write this for a week now, but being sick I was unable to until today. The reason I became inspired to write this was because of a newscast that I heard. Graduations were happening all over the states and here locally. I was listening to the news and heard a reporter say, "Local teens want to remember student who killed himself at graduation with an empty chair, their principal won't allow it for fear it will upset the bullies who led him to commit suicide."  Yes that is what I heard, at the time it created such an anger in me that I sat and spewed obscenities at the t.v. "Fuck those bullies, were they thinking of this kid or his parents when they were taunting him? Fuck them I hope they all suffer!" My daughter asked me what I was talking about and I told her and she said "Wow!" which is her way of saying "HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT!" As you can see it still creates such a reaction in me that I cannot think of any other way to channel this but to blog about it!

When society places concern for a bully above the memory of a victim and the feeling of the victims family there is a serious problem. Don't get all crazy on me, I have heard of the young man accused of bullying who took his life too, and I have every sympathy for that family as well. A good upstanding family. What created this need to bully in their child, what creates it in any child? Why is it so prevalent today? I only believe it is more noticeable today, and that it is only recently that it has garnered a spotlight because of  its inundation on social media. I was bullied way before Facebook and Myspace, way before and way before 4g technology on phones enabled recording of fights.

This is a list of reasons that I have come up with that I was bullied continuously from my earliest memory of bullying to my last. I was bullied as early as 3rd grade when I cut my hair short got called everything from a beetle to a boy how are the rest.....
1. hair cut short
2. being smart, being teachers pet
3. being liked by boys
4. having breasts develop before others
5. being a "whitewashed mexican"
6. thinking I was "too good"
7. not being thin enough
8. having an ass that boys looked at
9. being shy
10. not fitting in
11. being gossiped about as being sexually active when I was not
12. not fighting back
13. being pretty
14. being ugly
15. accused of being gay
16. having a locker next to a cheerleader
17. for being me.....

I actually cried as I wrote this because peoples bullying of me has had a profound effect on my life, it created a lot of doubt in a frail developing person. I began to hate myself and to not want to exist. I withdrew emotionally and stopped attending school because it was a nightmare to go to everyday. I know that a lot of people that knew me back then had no clue at the time that I was so distraught, I hid it very well, by being rebellious and  covering my pain up with humor. My parents had no clue, all they knew was that I went from this smart bright kid to someone they did not recognize in a period of 5 years. The most crucial years from seventh grade to senior year. I hate that part of my life and the power I let others have over me.

In high school believe it or not I wore a smocked blouse to school at orientation, and I was gossiped about as being pregnant I was also bullied by boys who probably had a crush on me... I just didn't know it. It was also during this period that a girl whose initials were LB and was a year under me bullied me the most next to my other bully who I will talk about next. LB had a locker near mine and she made sure to stand in my way daily, sidling up to her boyfriend in typical socie, cheerleader fashion. She would not move and when I would ask her she would mutter things under her breath and call me things like fat, ugly, loser....this went on for the whole year, at the end of the year she took a picture of me, that she had access to because she was on the yearbook staff I believe, if she wasn't a friend of hers was. She photocopied it and posted it on the entrance of the language arts building with the words LOST, implying that I was a dog..luckily someone took it down before I saw it. I still get upset that I did not beat the shit out of her to this day! Because if I could go back in time and beat the HOLY shit out of her I would, terrible I know my teenage self still hates her! Really I feel sorry for her because she had issues of her own obviously.

My last experience with a bully in which I took control, came after several years of torture from a supposed cousin, who called me a bitch daily, people, daily! From seventh grade all the way to junior year! I guess she thought I was trying to be too much of a chola encroaching on her little clique or whatever, I did try to fit in with the little homie element but thank God I got over that really quick! They considered me too whitewashed, too good. Which looking back on it now is laughable! Finally one day passing through the narrow Biology hall, she whispered "bitch" into my ear, I stopped and said "look if I am such a bitch then do something about it!Now... oh that's right your little friends aren't here to back you up.... so will you please leave me the fuck alone!" I don't know where that Krisann came from, but pretty much from that day on I claimed my power over my bullies. It was freeing and empowering. I still had problems with depression  but never acted on thoughts of suicide. I was lucky.

Today the shift in bullying takes on  a sexual aspect and that is very dangerous thing. Where girls like myself may be bullied for their supposed sexual activity, kids today are bullied for their sexual identity. If you present as  too feminine, or too butch you are a target. Looking back at all of the people I grew up with there is not one that I can say I did not know they were either gay or lesbian. You was unspoken. It was never threatening to me though because their sexuality didn't really matter to me they were first and foremost my friends. Now that I am a parent I listen to my kids and their experiences and I thank God he prepared me to handle bullying. They have been bullied about their race and sexuality. They've been called faggot or dike. They are all girls by the way.... I would not care if they came up to me and said,"Mom I am gay..", it'd be like telling me they want gravy on their potatoes, I'd say "ok."  If they told me they were suicidal then it would be a big deal and I would be the light they needed to make it through the darkness, after all isn't that what a parent is supposed to do?

Yesterday I took the pledge to stop bullying when I see it happening  I want to encourage you to do the same. To learn more about the pledge go to this link  and this link

Bullying is everybodies problem, you just don't realize it until it happens to you....

This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to tolerance....