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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BY TEACHING AN ABSTINENCE ONLY POLICY WHAT ARE WE REALLY SAYING TO OUR KIDS..CLOVIS UNIFIED NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE DARK AGES, BUT PARENTS NEED TO TALK ABOUT SEX AT HOME!

If you are a resident of the Central Valley in California then you know all about the Clovis schools and how they are some of the best in the state. People move there because of the school district, not just for the education but because sports is also a big priority for the district. Apparently what is not a priority for the district is Sex Ed. The district is being sued by The American Academy of Pediatrics, The Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Aubree Smith, and Mica Ghimenti two parents of students. The district promotes abstinence, an "abstinence only" only policy. Which I know as a grandmother to a son of a teen mom, is not really promoting anything but sex itself. I understand what the basis of the suit is after reading about the lack of information and inaccurate information the district provides. It fails to address things like condom use, and STDS, and in some materials compares a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe, and says a man cannot control himself once he is aroused...hmmmmm kinda making it ok like "legitimate rape" I wonder if this is where that dillhole of a senator went to school this is why boys grow up thinking the way they do..anyway back to the suit.
ACLU lawyers say the school fails to meet the state requirement, they are not providing accurate information and are promoting an "abstinence only til marriage policy"ABSTINENCE. Did I say I am a 46 year old GMA? Abstinence is not a word that kids hear when you are talking about sex education. Kids today are growing up at the speed of light moving way to fast. I know of kids as young as twelve that were sexually active, yeah not happy when I heard the "gossip" about that. I really struggled with telling their parents, but chose not to because I did not want to be the one who caused problems, what is sad is that when this news was shared with someone I know it was those kids putting a friend in an uncomfortable situation. Does that friend stay loyal, or run the risk of hurting people even if its the truth? Now in retrospect I should have spoken to the parents. When my own daughter came home and told me she was pregnant at 15, I was hurt and upset, because it was not like we had not discussed sex. She knew full well that she could come to me at any time to get birth control. We were and are very open about sexuality and sex and STDS and birth control. We discuss things like, birth control, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, condom use, where the clitoris is and what it is..what having a sexual relationship means.

This is my issue. I know not all parents can do that, talk to their kids about sex, but why are we leaving it up to the schools to do it and suing them if they don't. Are we going to sue when our teen daughters get pregnant and they go to that school? Sexual education should be first and foremost talked about at home. The Central Valley has maintained high rates of teen pregnancy for almost 25 years. Heck we even have special schools for teen moms. Why is abstinence a bad word? I like it, I wish it would hold true for my daughters. But, what I like and what I get are two different things...obviously not all teens today are going to be abstinent. For the percentage that are, GREAT! They should still be educated about sex. Sex should not be viewed as something that makes someone dirty, or that a guy has the right to force himself on someone because he cannot control himself. Sex is a basic need. Its on Mazlow's hierarchy, it is there because sex is needed to continue the species. Now, the psychological aspects of being sexually active that's another story. I know some adults that are not emotionally equipped to handle sex and its responsibilities!So it goes without saying but I will say it, I don't think teens are,physically, mentally or emotionally capable of handling sexual relationships. Teens today equate love with sex, usually girls. The two as we adults know have nothing to do with one another. Tell that to your 15 year old in the throws of her first relationship. My experience with boys is that they treat girls like objects, really as disposable..sad, at least most of the teen boys I know to be sexually active.
Realistically we can only arm our children with information. What they choose to do with it is an entirely different thing. Is Clovis Unified at fault here? I think in some ways they are, they are living in their own version of reality, Stepford reality.I also feel parents should start early and keep the discussion age appropriate as kids get older. I  hope that parents take this opportunity to open up the dialogue about Sex... The Birds and The Bees, The SEX Talk, That talk whatever you call it. Ask your kids a series of questions and then you decide where to go from there. Here is a great link to Planned Parenthood that you can use to start your discussion. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/parents/talking-kids-about-sex-sexuality-37962.htm teens can go to this site, it is a UK site but better and aimed at teens than any other USA site I viewed, http://www.teenissues.co.uk/LetsTalkAboutSex.html, I especially like the "Am I Ready For Sex?" Questionnaire.http://www.teenissues.co.uk/questionnaire-am-i-ready-have-sex.html  Parents you should check this site out too.

Whatever happens with this lawsuit I think that it is a great way to start discussion in your home and I hope that you take the opportunity. My child should already know the facts by the time they are 12 and should keep learning. Misinformation among teens is high. Expectations are high. Being a teen is hard enough as it is, why wouldn't you want the best for your child. Talk to your kids today...I know we are on the right path with my grandson. He is four, he just started going to day care-preschool. One day we were discussing bad words and what you can and cannot say in day care....at the dinner table, with my 3 daughters, one of whom is his mother and his mothers Fiance, his "Dad", he proceeded to tell us "Vagina isn't a bad word!" We were quiet for a brief moment that seemed like eons, and we all looked at each other and smiled. I told him "You know what Devyn? "You are right! Vagina is not a bad word" and we continued on with our dinner.These are teachable moments...and Sex Ed is something I believe begins at home.

WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT HOW YOU WILL RUN THE COUNTRY, WHAT I REALLY CARE ABOUT IS THAT YOU DATED A BLACK WOMAN....

The political news means nothing to me. You know what means something to me. The government getting us out of our present state of the economy. Why we are sending troops to Afghanistan? How in a year, when I am cut from my medi-cal because according to my state I make to much money LOL, am I going to pay for health insurance that I cannot afford. I care about how and when I will stop worrying about going to the food bank or borrowing 20 dollars to make it through the week to put something on the table. I have yet to see a politician walk the walk. Yes we know they do a lot of talking that's for sure. It is very rare that they actually do the things they say they do. They bribe their voters into believing they will give them the sun, the moon, and the stars, if they vote for them, kind of like when you tell your kids "if you wash dishes I will think about letting you go out on Friday". They appease us, sate us with their claims so that we can move on to the next political hopeful and their scandal. The last time I voted it was the first time I voted. That was for Bill Clinton. We all know how that went. That's when I lost interest in voting.
When Obama was running I didn't care for him one way or the other. He was touted as the first Black President, "African American", (uhhhuhm...clearing my throat) isn't his mother white? So that seems he is the first Biracial President. Really Obama is not Black enough to be black. In ghetto fab real life, he would  be too white to be accepted by his black peers. How do I know? Because I have experienced racial intolerance of my own children, who are part black. Here's the kicker, (say this whispering) its mostly black people (females) who have issues with them. Must be the good hair. It has also been a common experience for a lot of my friends who have mixed race children. My girls father, experienced racial intolerance by the black community he grew up in also. I honestly feel that Obama met Oprah Winfrey's seal of approval and that is how he got elected, she had him on her show when he was a Senator and she supported his bid for presidency. So you know what happens when something gets the seal of approval from the big O herself...it goes viral, especially with the demographic of white women who watched her show, add that to the black demographic and you have a shoe in for the presidential race. Maybe you think that's a poopoo thought coming from a narrow minded wannabe blogger. That's ok I am only saying what lots of people think.
Seems to me, too much is made of race and the focus is never on the record of politicians where it should be. I was reading Keli Goff's articles about Paul Ryan. She is "The  Roots" political correspondent a "black" online magazine. That kind of illustrates my point "a black online magazine" I understand that it is demographically aimed at "Black America" but hey I hope its ok that I, good ole American Mexican read it. I mean I am in that minority that Ryan does not seem to care about as Goff states. I am that dirty word that my daughter hates to hear when I say it, "POOR". On August 13th she writes about "What we know about Paul Ryan and Blacks" http://www.theroot.com/blogs/barack-obama/four-facts-tell-us-how-paul-ryan-feels-about-black-voters discusses how Ryan feels about Obama, how he celebrates MLK day, his civil rights record, and how he feels about the poor. She comes to the conclusion in my opinion that he is not really "for" the Black American. Then yesterday she writes about the fact that he dated a black woman in college, this is a snippet and the focus of her column and I,  "So here is the million-dollar question: Is the fact that Ryan has dated interracially a noteworthy detail to consider when analyzing his politics and policies?" Read more at this link http://www.theroot.com/blogs/paul-ryan/does-paul-ryans-black-girlfriend-matter She goes onto say that to really know a person and the way they will deal with a certain community of people is to look at their past record. I agree.  Look when you want a good job done, say, you  want to go to a plumber, you are going to ask people maybe do some research and then hire the right guy for the job, after all its your hard earned money you will pay him. So leaving our future in the hands of someone based on who they dated or didn't, and what color they are, really who cares? I don't agree with  people of any color puling the race card to make a point, usually about how "the man has screwed them" and I still don't know WHO that man is? We should all judge people based on their ability to be human. I know, I know a pipe dream and I am living in lalaland but hey thats how I honestly feel. As a dear friend of mine posted on facebook today "When people don't get what they want they pull the race card" she is so right. Look, Racism with a capital R is alive and well and so is prejudice and I have been and am somewhat still guilty of it, I have issues with people of any color who do stupid shit...its old people, that race card, get onto the people card. Maybe its you, your behavior, your values, your morals, your actions, maybe its the way you spoke, or carried yourself, maybe its not everyone else.
Back to the Political Race. Do I care if Paul Ryan dated a black woman, do I care that Obama is half black? NO I don't, I don't vote, but that does not mean I don't get tired of the political campaigns that are fueled with hate and mudslinging. Maybe if I did hear about the real issues, the things I have to worry about on a day to day basis and how YOU, Joe A. REPUBLICAN, or Joan A. DEMOCRAT, are going to insure the greatness of this country how you are going to help me, POOR AS FUCK MOMMA. Maybe just maybe then I would vote.



Friday, August 17, 2012

THE POLITICAL CASE OF PUSSY RIOT

Imagine you are sitting in church on Sunday and 3 masked young women run in to the service in brightly colored mini skirts and ski masks and scream "FUCK PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ALL THAT HE STANDS FOR!" and shout other political statements and dance wildly at the churches altar. How would you react? First as human being, I know I would be, "WTF just happened and do they have guns?" Then I would think "How dare they come into my place of worship and disrupt my service and traumatize people who are worshiping." Then as a Christian I would forgive them. As a citizen of the USA I would say, " Freedom of Speech is something I strongly believe in and support."
I am often criticized for what I say out loud, and often times what I post on Facebook, and sometimes in my blogs. I have been accused of not thinking before I speak, and while it may seem that way, actually I am very calculated in the way that I phrase things. When I make a verbal or written FAIL I do correct myself, UNLESS I totally stand by what I say.
There Is a little quotable quote by Bernard Mezlar that people like to post on Facebook especially if they have been pissed off by, well, Me.

"Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid."

While that's all nice and good...that is not how I feel..most of the time I feel like this, sometimes people have to say things even if and especially when its not the popular view of others or if it may offend a group of people or hurt feelings especially if it is based in TRUTH...
"Pretty words are not always true.........and  True words are not always pretty" That is more my motto..my creed.That applies to words spoken to me too. I know I am not always right and I will apologize if I think something is worth salvaging. For me words are a way to express myself like an artist with paint or a musician when they play an instrument. 
While I have never been part of a protest I have vocalized my belief  and done so loudly many times.

The question in the case of Pussy Riot is, is this a political ploy by Putin to grow support for his reelection? Will keeping these young protesters in prison for up to 3 years make a difference in the scheme of things? It has actually caused a backlash against Putin around the world. These young punk rockers have grown global support. Yet their fellow musicians in Russia don't regard them as anything but young protesters and do not support them. Of course not why would they? They play for the Kremlin and other politicians, keeping status quo is important to people who are being supported by the government.

I can't totally agree with the methods of Pussy Riot storming into a sacred place, but I agree that they have the right to speak out against the government they feel oppresses them and millions of other people. 
What would happen in the USA if that happened?
Back to my first question. I mean churches are allowed to protest at military funerals, and people are allowed to protest in front of churches and religious people are allowed to protest at Planned Parenthood and Chick Fil-A. I know that in this instance, storming into a church,  the protesters would be thrown in jail...but would it be considered a Hate crime here? Would the protesters get 3 years? Shoot some child molesters don't get that.
For me at the crux of this case is that I believe in and support FREEDOM OF SPEECH, people have died for that right of mine and yours. Imagine living in a culture that sensors you. Value the power of your words, even if they are words others may disagree with.
Some members of Pussy Riot want people to empower themselves and support the imprisoned members by donning ski masks in bright colors and vocalizing how they feel...Maybe you don't want to go to that extreme maybe you are a more genteel protester whatever format you choose, regard your freedoms highly because the cost of those freedoms are paid for in blood.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

PONYTAILS, BANKRUPTCY AND POLITCALLY CORRECT TERMS OVERSHADOW GABBYS GOLD MEDALS...BUT NOT FOR LONG!

I have not seen one moment of the 2012 Olympics. I have heard a lot about Gabby Douglas, a gulp, "African American" and her hair, and the fact that her Mother filed bankruptcy earlier this year. I don't even know how many medals shes won. Gymnastics is one of my favorite sports to watch. I remember wanting to follow after Nadia Comaneci and her perfect 10's. I walked faithfully to practice at the high school which was about 3 miles from my house but I went anyway. My parents let me go, but they did not have money for me to pursue anything seriously. For them it was a way for me to be busy while they both worked. For me it was a dream to be able to stand on the balance beam or swing on the parallel bars. I was actually the first one in class to do the splits...alongside other girls who had taken years of dance already. My dreams ended when the class did. I still followed competitions when they were on and like lots of other little girls who are watching Gabby Douglas today I was content to be the spectator.
I go to my homepage and see that the media is more focused on how Douglas wears her hair. She wears it like lots of other gymnasts, in a ponytail, quite sensible I would say. Would they care how she wore her hair if she wasn't African American. How do they think all the other American (Caucasian) and European and Asian gymnast wear their hair? Is she supposed to wear cornrows or quadruple braids? Hairstyles worn by some "African American" little girls? I don't get it...can we focus on her Olympian feats instead of her hair?
 Douglas was not the medias "Darling" coming into these Olympic games, Jordyn Weiber was the medias pick. The odds on favorite, Weiber who was touted as the next Marylou, the next Nadia, was out of contention. Guess how she wears her hair? Yep in that sensible ponytail. In a twist here is a photo of Weiber in cornrows..





"African American"? I don't care if shes Mexican American, Italian American or German American...Douglas is American. I get offended when people say aren't you Mexican...ugh no I was born here. I consider myself American. Who cares? Its obvious I am of Mexican descent. Nationality, ethnicity, race, color whatever you want to call it. These athletes are competing for America, Team USA. Lets applaud their hard work and  merits.

Then there is the news that Olympian Ryan Lochte's parents are facing foreclosure and that Douglas' Mother had filed bankruptcy earlier this year. Douglas' Mother, Natalie Hawkins a single mother of four filed bankruptcy. So what. So did I, oh but that's right I am not the mother of an Olympian, (not yet anyway). I know I personally make a lot of sacrifices for my children, especially my football/baseball playing daughter. Hawkins had to get her daughter the best coach she could and that meant sending her 3,000 miles away from home to fulfill her dreams. Dreams and hard work that obviously paid off. How many people in the United States have not filed bankruptcy this year? It doesn't make any difference to me. This only solidifies my belief that some athletes are cut from a different cloth, and that those who pursue the greatness they are destined for achieve a lot of the success that they do because their parents and others, coaches, and in Douglas' case host families make a lot of sacrifices. Sacrifice is the word that comes to mind when I hear about the parents of these wonderful athletes. It is not easy to let your child move away to train, or to find the money to do it. No one is investing in these athletes future, no one but their parents, families, coaches and them. That the hard work pays off is the cherry on top. After all the Olympic gold medal is only monetarily worth 644 dollars, but in terms of endorsements and future earnings well its value is something these athletes aren't even thinking about when they are training or competing. I think whatever Douglas does she has a bright future ahead of her regardless of her hair or the fact that her Mom filed bankruptcy. I for one am glad to see all little girls realize that they have a heroine they can identify with, child of a single mom, with good sensible values, and a dream that she has just realized.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PROTESTING GAY MARRIAGE WITH A FAST FOOD SANDWICH WTF IS NEXT?

Wow so I have been out of the loop as I have been out of the blogosphere, no internet, no television, no phone, not as a protest but because I have been broke. No I'm not protesting anything at the moment. So when I get all plugged in what do I see but news about Chick Fil-A and a protest that uses food! How obese of America, the most overweight nation in the world. Protesting gay marriage by eating fried chicken sandwiches, really? I was reading an article that said how "rebellious" it was to eat fried food anyway and now people are having "eat-ins" to protest a cause, well what the fuck have the morbidly obese Americans who partake in fast food dining daily been protesting? Protesting cooking their own food? I am in a complete state of what the fuck is wrong with people? Their are so many American kids who do not eat properly and would love a fast food meal as a treat, but hey when you are on welfare you can't be seen buying a Happy Meal with your EBT card for your kids without getting a stare or two. But shoot just tell em you are protesting gay marriage and they will gladly charge that cash aid card. This is a joke right? Since when is using food, especially fast food as a way to protest something become so popular. In recent days McDonald's and other fast food chains have jumped on the Christianity bandwagon and stood behind Dan Cathy, president, of Chick Fil-A who in a statement said he believed in traditional marriage... traditional two parent families, and that this generation has the "audacity to redefine what constitutes marriage"...Cathy did not specifically say gay marriage, but the media took it and ran with it and what really stinks is so did Cathy and his "Christian" supporters.

 Look, Cathy is entitled to his opinions, but this all stinks of hullaballoo and tactics to get people to go buy more fast food...hello, making Cathy richer by the day. What a bunch of lemmings...followers looking to protest something. Hey here is an idea go to the source. Have you thought about going to church? Why not fill up the pews and pray for these "sinners" instead of eating fried chicken sandwiches. What else will fast food corporate schmoos do to generate millions for their shitty food that is silently killing Americans daily.
I love a good burger don't get me wrong, I eat fast food, but not as a way to protest. No I usually succumb after working 10 plus hours because I don't want to cook or rather I am too tired.

I am a Christian, a work in progress. I believe what the bible says....for the most part. I believe my God and yours, is a loving kind God who may not always like what we do, that is when we sin, but would he ever damn us to a life of eternal hell if we asked him for forgiveness, or if we truly felt in the heart he created that we were being who we were meant to be. I am not pro-gay or pro-anything other than pro-human being. I believe that whatever faults an individual has or a group perceives those individuals to have is really based in ignorance and fear. I went into a church a while back and was so turned off by their anti-gay thought (3 x in one hour) that I never returned. I believe in a union between man and woman but not for any financial or political gain. I also believe it is every persons right to love another person without fear of what others may think. Love cannot be dictated by people, politicians, or even religion. Love happens in the unlikeliest of moments to the most unlikely of people and if its not hurting anyone then leave it alone.

I wish Chick Fil-A's Dan Cathy and other fast food giants would find something else worthwhile to protest like childhood hunger...that would make me respect them more. Don't think I will be eating any fast food again this week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

MAGIC MIKE, STRIPPING, THE POWER OF VAGINAS AND FEMALE SEXUALITY



 *this is a disclaimer before you read this you need to realize i use terms like vagina...and a slang term for penis so if you are easily offended.... i suggest you click off this page or else hey go see the movie and don't be so uptight...


Well I went to see Magic Mike for the second time in as many weekends. I know it was such a hard thing to do, but hey my best friend had still not seen it and who was I to let a girl down. The first time I went I took my daughters, ages 20, and 16 almost 17 before I get "Oh my!" Lets face it people we don't live in a glass bubble and my kids are not hyper-protected from the realities of the world. They are probably more informed than some adults, and obviously more mature than a lot of the women that went to see this movie. They giggled and smiled and laughed out of nervousness just like I did, but they were not ogling and whooping and saying things like "that's what I call good genetics" as Channing Tatum bared his assets and let me tell you they were glorious. Yes indeed lots of eye candy for women of all ages. I didn't even know what all the hoopla was about until I left work and said have a great weekend and a female coworker and friend of mine said "Oh I will, I'm going to see Magic Mike!" and I asked "Ok what the heck is this Magic Mike?" She looked at me like I was a nun and said, "Its about male strippers! It has Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, yummy!" A word she frequently uses to describe a good looking man. So I came home and googled it and thought yeah I would like to see that and then I asked some friends who were going on another day or just were not that interested. I thought I was out of luck and then I thought, why not take my daughters? They were the best movie mates to take. I am sure they were subdued in their behavior with me than if they would've been with girlfriends. They have seen Burlesque, actually one of our favorite movies. I had seen Striptease and even as a young girl I watched Gypsy with Natalie Wood. I appreciated the Vargas Girl too at an early age, and if I was not raised to be so uptight with my body heck I might have hid my assets behind fans or feathers to make a wad of cash. I love the burlesque acts today. I am not saying that stripping should be viewed at as a wholesome activity but lets face it people men have been objectifying women for years, so now thanks to Channing Tatum who co-wrote the script for Magic Mike its the flipside. As a matter of fact he was a stripper early on in his career.


Boy does it show. I had seen him in "Step Up" and other movies of his. Of course he is Leading Man status. Almost a throwback to the retro glam of Hollywood, in the midst of all of these character type actors today. He has clean cut all American appeal with chiseled good looks and a gleam in his eye and he is well, super fit. The clincher for all of us movie going gals is that he can cry too. He is the big ticket draw here. Matthew McConaughey, nice bottom, and front and abs and arms shoot it was all nice..... and the supporting cast are equally HOT, there is something for women of every age. Back to Tatum. Like I said I had seen him dance in other movies but to watch him  in Magic Mike is to watch him make love.Yes I said it. He has all the moves down, the grinding, the booty shaking, the hip explosion ala Elvis, the air humping, yep he is to say the least very versatile and damned sexy doing it. Now you know why everyone is so entranced by that dumbass show Dancing With The Stars. I think you can tell a lot by the way someone moves their body on the dance floor.

So did that last paragraph objectify men? Maybe this one will. Well shoot ladies I don't feel sorry for them. I was once told by an old male boss that the worlds biggest commodity is between a womans legs. Years ago I was appalled at his comment as any young woman would have been. As I have gotten older I have changed my view point on that comment and have come to realize that yes Mr. Boschetto was right, wars have been fought over women. Women who have ever had power have been vilified for having a vagina and that power. In reality we are the sex that is needed to procreate, to bring forth leaders of tomorrow. No man I know could spit out a watermelon from his vagina...oh wait they don't have one....and live to tell about it. Truth is since Adam had Eve, or if you believe in evolution the first Caveman had fire, the women here, Eve and the Cavewoman, were not chasing them but were rather being chased by those first men. So now as things have evolved, and I say that in a very enlightened way Women want to be treated as equals in the sex department. They buy sex toys, they buy lingerie, they watch porn and they read sexy books, look at the success of "50 Shades Of Grey". Female sexuality is a powerful thing and to be empowered by having a vagina well that's only something a WOMAN can understand. Sexuality is something we have always had, its just that men have only thought a certain kind of woman should display it. Keep it inside Ladies, like your ovaries! I say let it, "your female sexuality" run free like a swinging dick for lack of a better description...
If more men allowed their women to be open with their sexuality they might realize the home-fires could always be stoked instead of having to go out and look for that fire someplace else. The same can be said for women, if you pay attention to that fire at home pretty soon that blaze will be nice and hot.
So would I recommend going to see Magic Mike, well I am not a film critic but it was good entertainment and had a moral to the story too. I wont give it away but I will say that I know for a fact there were women in that theater that would never step foot inside a male revue but they felt safe enough to venture into the theater and watch these beautiful men strut their stuff. Was it harmless? I think so...it allowed these women to take a walk on the wild side. They were unabashed in their howls and whoops and giggling and comments. They all left smiling. To those boyfriends who went with their girlfriends kudos to you I am sure you had a great evening after the show. Not very many uptight women at this movie...my dear friend who I went to see the movie with yesterday was her typical self..she loves men...oohed and ahhhed and felt like a schoolgirl and I did too even though I knew what was coming up it was still nice to appreciate again.
My  Love also knows that I went to see this movie and his comment to me was..."Have a good time!" no insecurities there...but of course he has always done wiggle wiggle before it became famous.

Monday, June 18, 2012

LOVING AN ADDICT AND THE GOD FACTOR...

These last few weeks have been a trying time for me. I miss my Love like there is no tomorrow. If you follow my blog you know that he is in rehab, and has been away from us for more than two years. When he does return home in five months or so we will have spent more time apart than we ever have together. I know that seems crazy to a lot of people. It sounds crazy to me too. Why would I put up with the life of loving an addict for twenty plus years? I don't have the answer other than that I have waited and been through all of the hard times to learn what real love is. My Love and I are at a point in our lives where we are on the same page. As I write this it is a strange thing to see that, to verbalize, to acknowledge and appreciate.
I am used to being the bold, independent, self sufficient single momma who never had to answer to a man. That has changed for me, in a good and positive way. My Love has always been in our lives through jail and prison and now rehab, my kids and I, but he has never been fully "present". Of course him being incarcerated had a lot to do with that, and that probably seems strange to a lot of people. He has been the passive parent standing to the side because his choices prevented him from being an active participant in his children's lives.

When I found out he would be gone for yet another 2 years I broke down and cried, but now looking back on it I am glad his probation officer didn't let him come home, instead putting him in a rehab facility a few counties away from us. This was so he would not try to leave and come home, something he did anyway once and then it hit him that he was preventing his own happiness. In the beginning he called me and said they are trying to shove religion down my throat..I don't want that I don't need a relationship with God like they want me to have. I told him in those early phone calls to just do whatever he had to do to come home.

I believed, I was a reborn Christian. I was raised Catholic but never practiced as an adult. Instead after going through our domestic violence incident and staying at the local mission for a brief time I was urged by a woman who was also staying at the mission to go to a church near the mission one Sunday. I went and I listened to the sermon, at the end of the sermon they asked if anyone wanted to turn their life over to God and to have a personal relationship with him. The way the Pastor spoke was as if he was speaking to me and raising my hand that day changed my heart from one that was hurting to one that would be filled with hope. I was later baptized and when my children came home two of them also became baptized and we faithfully went to church on Wednesday and Sundays for 5 years. At this time their father, my love was in his addiction deep and every time we went to church we prayed for his sobriety and his heart to be changed. He saw how going to church changed me, how happy I had become. He tried to be in our life but I held fast that he would not be in our lives as long as he was using and doing drugs for a long time and then I allowed him to come home after a stint in rehab where he said he changed. When he did live with us I stopped going to church and blamed having a new job and working overtime as the reasons I stopped going to church. My life spiraled and I lost places to live several times because I allowed my Love to make promises to me I knew he would not keep. He again went to jail and prison and I continued making bad choices. Moving a total of 5 times in the next 4 years.

I decided to shut him out, I deserved to be happy, I even went to church occasionally, but not as often as I wanted to. It was during this time that he showed up on my door to visit our kids, in the daytime.. he paid no attention to me. Which was odd because every other time he would say he was coming over to see the kids he would show up late after they went to bed, ashamed for them to see him sucked up and coming down from his meth high. His attention was on his daughters this time and he came and said "I know they( the police) will be looking for me Kris, I am so tired of this life...I don't want to live like this anymore. I love you and my daughters but I don't know how to stop. I want to stop but I don't know how to. I know I have lost you and them." I told him that he hadn't lost us but that we could not live like this, that he needed to get help and that it wasn't something he needed to do for us, but for himself. He needed to love himself so he could fully love us. The next morning after sleeping on my couch he was arrested. That was almost 3 years ago. 1 year of it was spent in jail and then in a rehab in Fresno, that I hated because it had not helped him before, and didn't this time either. He ended up leaving and getting a violation, more jail time, he had done well but was still kidding himself that he could make it out here. I am so glad he violated and that his probation officer put him in the program he is currently in. It is called Teen Challenge and it has saved him from himself and made him a different person entirely. He has been there for one year. Every day after he leaves will be a day of hard work and making the right choices, but now he has a renewed faith and that faith will help us both.

When I speak to him now and spend time with him he is a completely different person. He has grown into the man I always knew was there. He has helped me to parent our children in ways that he never has before and it has been hard to listen to him give me direction because I have been doing it all alone for so long. I got mad the first time he gave me some parenting advice. I was actually upset with him for having the nerve to try to be a parent. Then I realized, wow this is what I had been praying for all this time! A partner who was willing to shoulder the responsibility. How do I know he has changed? It is a gut feeling, just as I knew when he was high on crank or drunk or smoking weed I know now that he has the God factor working in his life. People who find themselves in certain situations...Get God. Everyone in prison says they are saved, of course they are only saved to the extent that it allows them to get out and mess up again. That's not to say that some are truly changed. I had heard this before from my Love when he was in Prison. No this time its different, he had a conversation with me recently and he told me, "Pray Kris!" I answered back, " I do, I do all the time." he then asked, "Do you really pray Kris, or do you just ask for God to get you out of a situation? I am talking about taking time daily to meditate on the Bible and prayer." I was floored. Yes many of my prayers consisted of "Lord just get me out of this situation and I will go to church." Of course the Lord had nothing to do with many of my situations, because they were purely out of my inability to be responsible.
It was during this conversation that he told me to go back to church and I promised him we would. I thought how we might visit another church in the area, but for some reason I decided to go back to the church I had first stepped foot in over 10 years ago.

Last weekend was our first weekend there, there were seven of us, me and my daughters and a nephew and my grandson and my daughters boyfriend. It was nice and we left with a good feeling. This last Sunday we were anxious to go as we were having a special speaker for Fathers Day. All week I had told my Love when I heard from him. This speaker Darwin Benjamin, was like my Love, a former addict. I knew what he had to say would resonate with me so I eagerly anticipated the day wishing my Love could be with us to hear his story. He and his wife's testimony spoke directly to me and my family and rang true in many parallels to my own life with my Love. After church which had run longer than usual my love called and I told him how powerful the speaker was and what his name was and he said, "Wait a minute was he a black guy?" I laughed "Yeah, why?" and my husband told me that he had just heard him this last week at a Teen Challenge Picnic in Turlock. I was amazed that my prayers were answered and that my Love was able to hear Mr. Benjamin's message. I then started to see other coincidences if you will....The church I go to is heavily affiliated with Teen Challenge as it is an Assemblies of God church. I prayed every time I went faithfully to have my husband restored and saved. Darwin Benjamin is also associated with Teen Challenge and my church. The simple fact that my husband has developed a relationship with Christ at this facility is in itself a blessing. Everything is coming full circle from the very first day I walked into that church till now. Even after my absence for a long time God continued to work behind the scenes for me daily even when I thought he had abandoned me. That is the God factor at work. I fully believe that everything we do in life is linked to an event that needs to happen for us to find our higher power. Whether you believe or not is not the question because I believe for you. I know what God has done in my life and will continue to do. All that I or my Love had to do was surrender.

 


I messaged Darwin Benjamin's Truth Ministries on Facebook. I told him about the fact that he spoke at the event my husband was at and the parallels in our stories this is the reply Truth Ministries
  • Omg - amazing i sure will pray for you guys and always keep the faith especially if we dont get what we want and how we want - we just need to say like Mary oh well let thy will be done Lord cause the Father knows best - i trust you Lord! Read Isiah 44:22 - 2 Cor 5:19-20 It's all there add 1John 1:9

    I am not here to tell you what you need to do with your spirituality. I am only here to tell you how my life has taken so many twists and turns and yet it has come full circle to where I first found comfort in believing as an adult. Too many coincidences to be just that. We are all works in progress and the truth is there is a lot of work to be done in both mine and my husbands lives but if me sharing this with you helps you through times of doubt and encourages hope in you then it has all been worth it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS WHO NEEDS THEIR OWN ASSHOLE..THE PITFALLS OF BEING A GOOD FRIEND...

So since the lunar eclipse my lines of communication have been blurred....with family and friends and apparently I have fallen into drama that I actually want no part of of. It is inevitable that with relationships with people drama follows...words are said, things are done, and relationships become damaged. Betrayal at its worst is hard to mend when it happens between friends, let alone family. I have been caught in a vortex of other peoples drama...I have enough of my own thank you very much. I am singleparenting it, to two teen daughters and my 20 something and her son. My house is overflowing with people...my space is not my own and I am missing my Love like crazy. I would not have it any other way even in my grumblings I know that this is a great time in my life and so I have resigned myself to the craziness of it all and written it off as, normal for someone like me. Yet I have been bombarded from the outside crazies with drama and lies and more drama and wow I cannot take it. Toxic people are sucking the life out of me and I like being in bliss mode not drama overload.

Why do we allow people to treat us this way? Why do friends and family turn on eachother over misunderstandings or assumptions and why is it that it usually involves money? Why do we fail to take inventory of ourselves before we point the finger at someone else? Why is it when you make a genuine effort to help someone they manipulate the situation so they are now making you out to be the bad guy when you bailed them out of their situation? This is a general observation of mine. Have I been guilty of it? Yes I have, but then I caught myself doing what every person who manipulates the situation do..play victim. You cannot be the victim of a circumstance you alone have put yourself in. I am not talking about real victimization like abusive relationships or homocide or rape or things like that. I am talking about the victim who believes their problems exist because of everyone else and not the fact that they made the choice to not pay a bill, or tell that lie, or not go to work or betray a friend or family member. That kind of victim playing annoys the fuck out of me. Have I done it? Yes I have. Then I realized just as I cannot allow people to treat me like crap, I have to be responsible for my choices. Ok so I go without water for a few days, or my phone is off because I have a big electric bill, I get pulled over because my tags are expired. So I hustle and work my butt off, maybe friends will come to the rescue and I will have my water back on, which they did....thanks guys. Yes I have or will finish paying them this week, I have not avoided them. I will work overtime to get caught up because hey life happens, things happen and the things I cannot control like my car breaking down or getting sick are inevitable, thats life. So I control the things that I can like making sure to pay a certain bill or giving up cable until I can afford it, simple choices people.

 Some people in my circle are generous and kind hearted and some are just takers....until they burn bridge after bridge and then it becomes an issue of paying back that kind hearted person with a barage of drama and insults and trying to make them miserable because they, the taker have failed to live up to their end of the deal. They are literally standing on the piece of driftwood thats left in that river of self pity they have created for themselves. They reach out to whoever will have some sympathy for them and usually its not many that are left, usually only telling their side of the story. We all know that old saying there are three sides to every story theirs, and yours, and the truth. Most people in this situation have to hit their own rock bottom and either admit they have a problem or genuinely ask for help or even apologize to people they have betrayed, but not as a way to get back in good graces. No, as a way to heal a relationship that they may have damaged if it can be repaired. If it cannot then its time to let that person go so that your sanity can be kept intact. I have had to do this recently and though it is hard its best for me and my family. We are moving forward in our lives and cannot afford to have the burden of someone elses inability to be responsible. All I can do is pray for that individual.

Genuine relationships are rare. It is true that we cannot pick our family, that is a card that is dealt to us but we can surely pic the aces in our circle of friends. Surrounding yourself with people who you aspire to be like, is usually a way to bring out the best in yourself and them. True friends find reward in knowing their is no pricetag where friendship is concerned. Someone recently told me a mutual friend of ours became friends with him and his wife because my Love and I never had money to do anything. I didn't want their money, I wanted their friendship. I don't need to be bought and I sure as hell ain't gonna buy you. If you want to come and share a meal and good conversation and laugh into the evening I can be your best friend. Just don't expect me to pay for your fucking pedicure or spend my income tax money on something for you. That was said too. The moral of the drama hurricane I have been caught up in this last week or two is that I know who my real friends are. I love them as they are, with all of their flaws and inconsistencies....just as they love the fucked up person that I am. One of them said that they like that I don't sugar coat, that they know that I will be straightforward with them and that my real friends and family will continue to love me. Lets see after I publish this how true that is.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

UN AMERICAN MILITARY MOMS NURSING THEIR CHILDREN! THE RUIN OF THE NATION! GET THE F*#@ OVER IT ALREADY...

What is the military coming too first they let women in the ranks, then they let them breastfeed in uniform! How UN AMERICAN can you be? That is sarcasm friends...sarcasm. I love the photos of the Moms in uniform nursing their babies! I wish that I would have taken photos of my daughters when they were little nursing. Those were special times to me as a mother. I was able to nurse all 3 of my daughters and it was a beautiful thing. I think it created a bond that will last a lifetime, that is when my teens get out of their teen angst years. Breastfeeding for me was not only convenient, they slept in the same bed as I did, it gave me a sense of ultra closeness to my children. They still pile in my bed occasionally. While I am not saying that those Moms who choose not to breastfeed are not developing that same closeness with their child, its a different closeness. I hope I am not offending anyone. Moms are just special creatures equipped with all kinds of amazing abilities, nursing just happens to be one of them. I know moms that know its their child crying in a crowd of kids, or Moms who sense when something is wrong with their child, its Mom intuition a special sense every mom has.
Breastfeeding is a challenging proposition. Engorgement and sometimes blocked ducts, causing mastitis to name a couple, something I had with my last child and it was sooooo painful that I cried when she latched on. Once that passed it was again just my way of nourishing my child. It also allowed me to pass on vital antibodies and nutrients in the colostrum of the first few days of nursing. Two of my children have less allergies and had less ear infections. One of them was just unlucky to have my sensitive skin and allergies. If I had to do it all over again I definitely would!

I did not have a lactation specialist or any coach or any fancy schmancy person helping me. I did have the services of a nurse immediately after my first daughters birth and help and encouragement from nutritionists at the WIC program go to this link to learn more http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/  A great program for nursing mothers and infants and toddlers.
If you choose to nurse their are a lot of resources out there. Find the one that works for you, and hang in there its not easy for everyone, but don't get discouraged.

Now to the soapbox part of my blog. So the Moms in the military uniforms breastfeeding their babies are getting a lot of flack, from the military and civilians. I find it really stupid to liken nursing your child to defecating in your uniform...which I am sure many military people have DONE, among other things. To regard it as sacrilege is nonsense and a total manifestation of MENS obsession with women's breasts. Men view women's breast as a sexual part of a women that serves only to pleasure them. While it is true stimulating the nipples can cause the release of oxytocin during sex, its also released during nursing. So now that I popped your bubble men, let me inform you oxytocin or the "cuddle hormone" helps a womens uterus get back into shape after child birth when they nurse. This also explains why Moms bond with their babies when they nurse.

So basically the Military Moms haters are guys or gals with tit complexes and really need to rethink what women's breasts are for. They were originally intended for nourishing a child. I mean DO we expect animals not to nurse? We dont get uncomfortable seeing a cow nurse a its calf because thats what we expect? Plus most men I know are not sexually attracted to cows....hmmm let me rephrase that and say animals. So why all the hullabaloo? Maybe it has to do with the fact that these Mommas were well, HOT... I mean if they were homely and wrapped in mounds of material who would have cared, or if they were featured in a magazine like National Geographic who would have cared? View the photos and complete story here http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/30/11955844-military-mom-proud-of-breast-feeding-in-uniform-despite-criticism?lite
Men and their obsession with breasts have taken this to a whole new level on my stupidity meter.
I for one am proud those gals serve our country and nurse their children, do I care if they wear a uniform while doing. Not one bit. The photos were shot for upcoming Breastfeeding awareness month, military Moms are still Moms. I just think that the people who are uncomfortable with the photos are probably getting feelings in the lower part of their uniforms.....now that's something to be ashamed of.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

THE POLITICS OF BEING A GIRL IN LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL

This years Little League season has come and gone, and for my daughter it was not the season that was promised to her. I will say some of it is from her own behavior, bad attitude, letting her emotions show and get to her. The other part is what has been in existence since the first caveman bore a son and vowed his son would be best hunter, the alpha male, competition has never been the same since. Especially where grown men are concerned. You know the type, the kind who though they are told not to live through their male child do it anyway.
 Ever since our first foray into Little league three years ago it has been more about vicariously living through the chosen son or as it were grandson, and so to a lowly female child whose father was not present to be a positive force in her life, my daughter was often times overlooked and underestimated. It was an old softball coach who picked her up her first year in Little League, a coach set in his ways and unwilling to see past his grandson. It was an ok year. Her second year she was picked up by an old football coach and this seemed like it was going to be a great year, he used her as pitcher and they won their first few games that she played until she moved up to majors where she was just a player filling a void left on the team. A team that came in last place too many times to count. The coach when asking me about her ability heard nothing I said and told me he had ever only seen two girls in his lifetime that were "good" enough to play baseball with the boys. Still he was stuck with her and it became another instance of the chosen grandson and son to be the star...and he was good, I will admit that much. Yet she still did not get the opportunity boys younger than her had. On one of the rare occasions that she was on the mound she struck out one of the leagues best hitters, no one can take that from her. After that it was a loosing season and more time on the bench than play. She wanted off the team and wanted to go back in the draft. When we were told her old triple A coach was possibly taking the team over so we waited. When he did take over this beleaguered loosing team, she was hopeful as he told her he would give her the opportunity to play more, to pitch more, and to shine. When he asked what position she played last season the most the token star player said "bench". With all of the promises that were made to both players and parents it really just was another repeat of last year.What we were not prepared for was that he took this team so he would have an opportunity to take his son off of another team and give him more playing time on this one essentially building an opportunity for him to build his sons stats.
 At first it seemed as if she would get a fair shake until he started playing his son more often at pitcher. As she sat and watched lesser players get more opportunities it became evident to her and I that it was the same ole, same ole. Her attitude began to show, her frustration and anger lashed out in disrespect. When he called me about her I told him to bench her, she deserved it. Then I saw a side of this coach I had never seen before, he made a rude comment when she struck out, yet high fived the star player when he did the same..not wanting to bruise his fragile ego. He allowed this kid after missing a week of practice to come in and pitch in a must win game that we lost anyway. I confronted him about his comments and the fact that he favored players after he said he wouldn't, but if you look at the stats you will see his child led at bats with 46 while a player who didn't have the big ability others had batted 19 times this season. So much for the impartiality we were promised at the beginning of the season...something he cannot deny since its all in black and white on the stats. Since that confrontation our relationship, and his with my child has never been the same and never will be.  I personally feel that Dads who coach should not be allowed to coach their sons or daughters, which would lessen the nepotism that runs rampant on Little League fields everywhere.
To my daughters credit, individual credit I might add, she became the first female to hit two out of the park home runs ever in Madera Little League history. Those were and are wonderful accomplishments and we were happy with that until he benched her at her last ever Little League game in the second inning because she failed to get a ball and apparently gave him attitude, yet his child and others on the team who were unsportsmanlike to another team mate got to play and finish out their season. My daughter sat crying on the bench. She was hoping for another home run.
I sat disgusted and did not watch the last of the game and when we left I told her that it didn't matter, this year was like every other, what man wants their son to be out shined by a girl I told her?
I came home and wrote to one of the people on the board who was one of my daughters  biggest supporters and thanked them. They too were bewildered by what happened this year, especially since the teams standings really did not improve. I know its all about politics and good ole boy standards where girls are concerned in the game of baseball. Little League ball is way worse than high school, college and for that matter, professional ball in my opinion. Run by overzealous males whose beer guts have them unable to play anymore.What I do know, is, this has been a character builder for my daughter and in the future she will hopefully learn to control her emotions...know that the game is the game, and build on those principles she has learned from all of the great coaches who will and have crossed her path and even learn from the not so good coaches who will also unfortunately come life as she continues to play the sports she loves, baseball and tackle football.

Makenzee kissing her first home run ball
 Her dad getting a rare glimpse of his daughter playing at her best
 She is a great ballplayer and a great athlete with tons of potential, we talked about her opportunities in jr. high and beyond. How now, it may be a different playing field....time will tell but one things for sure this girl of mine will always be my shining star.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How about I challenge you Mario Batali give me your food income for a week and see what I can do!

Poor Mario Batali subsisting on foodstamps for a week....might do the robust chef some good. When I read this I was like, "really". At first I thought wow 31 dollars a week for his family thats not a lot at all. I read he and his kids were eating things like lentils and PB and J... then I read it was 31 dollars per person for his family of four..and that is 124 dollars a week multiply that by four and thats roughly 496 dollars a month. Then I got a lot irritated with him...really a chef had a hard time feeding his family! Must not be that creative. Thats a lot of foodstamps to this single momming it momma of 2... I get an allotment of 331 dollars or $1.10 per meal per person and that helps me out a lot... we occasionally eat take out or treat ourselves to a u-bake pizza LOVE PAPA MURPHYS. For the most part our food is purchased with foodstamps. I just received them this month after being off of them for 6 months..but when I was spending 120 to 150 dollars a pay period on food every two weeks, bills started piling up. So I reapplied and it took a whole 45 days to get approved a long time to someone like me. I had fallen through the cracks because my caseworker assigned to me was out ill. That six month period was hard.. we ate a lot of hamburger and pasta...but we ate. So when my foodstamps arrived on my EBT card I bought New York strip steaks topped with sauteed mushrooms, onions and bell pepper, 16 dollars for a pack of four, a little pricey but oh so good when paired with 98 cent box of scalloped potatoes, green salad and french bread...it was a birthday meal for my daughter that would have easily cost 100 dollars at the steakhouse in town. By the way we fed five and 1 half people with this meal at a cost of approximately $4.10 cents a person. Of course we don't eat steak every nite so our meals are balanced out. It also helps that I do a lot of my cooking from scratch. I'm not grinding corn mind you, but I know how to shop and plan meals. So while I feel for the chef I also feel like hey chef let me have your income for food for one week and let me show you how this Momma would feed a block of people. It is all about creativity and planning. I know I am lucky to live in the bread basket to most of the world, the Central Valley of California. No lack of fresh foods here or organic produce, last year an organic farm Whole
Foods and Revive Cafe https://www.facebook.com/WholeFarms in Fresno California sold specifically to foodstamp recipients, through a grant from Roots of Change.http://rootsofchange.org/ Gardening is also a luxury I have available to me although I will say I have not planted one yet....yikes.
While I appreciate that Batali did this as a way of protesting cuts to foodstamps and the Farm Bill  and he says it was not a publicity stunt but a way to start conversation..I am saying good. Start conversation, better yet connect with people who have to subsist on aid, give them the tools they need to make healthier eating habits. It's sad when its almost cheaper to eat fast food then it is to eat a well balanced healthy meal. It also sad when in the same week as I see Batali in the news taking the challenge I see a Newsweek magazine with a baby on the front holding french fries and the headline says "When I grow up I will weigh 300 pounds" that is also something the government needs to think about before they make cuts to programs like foodstamps or school lunches or Farm Bills.
Food is a big passion of mine and I have been blogging about it for a year on and off and have shared some of my recipes that have been purchased with foodstamps....I started it a year ago and while I wish I could devote more time to I have not been able to. Internet or food but now I am able to get online more often so hopefully I will add some new recipes. You can visit my site at http://noturtypicalgmacooks.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html
In the end all it really boils down to is that we need to eat the right food to fuel our body and whether we buy it with cold hard cash or foodstamps we should all be grateful for it. There are plenty of people and families that are just shy of qualifying for foodstamps by sometimes a dollar. Imagine how they feel when they go to sleep at night wondering about how they will feed their child the next day, should they miss work to get a foodbox or forgo a meal or two. That is the reality for many families today. I hope to share with you how I will budget my next allotment of foodstamps and that you will follow me and my family as we live the FOOD STAMP CHALLENGE DAILY.

Friday, May 4, 2012

IF YOU ARE GONNA CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THE DAY....AND THEN GET DRUNK

 The following was my little sarcastic take on why white folks celebrate a Mexican Holiday.... it was meant with a pinch of sarcasm and hey well stereotyping and generalization but then I started thinking...very dangerous for me...this was my Facebook status....
My thoughts on Cinco De Mayo... so how is it a Mexican holiday is now celebrated by a large percentage of non Mexicans, some of them the very people who can't stand the fact that we are here, salsa is the largest selling condiment in the US today and Margaritas are every Gringa's drink of choice.....and if I wanted to take a break from cooking my food and go to Sals on a friday nite Id better forget it everyone in there is gringo....so the next time you talk smack about the border and illegals dont enjoy any Mexican beer, drinks, food or grow a fucking salsa garden, or hire a gardener or housekeeper.. just saying... ...pinche hueros... wheres my corona?
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I really don't even remember what the fuck CINCO DE MAYO IS ALL ABOUT? OK I GOOGLED. Well I know its about defeating the French at Puebla...but I really don't know much else. I was irritated because it has become so commercializeD but then I saw this link http://web.mediaspacesolutions.com/blog/bid/136480/Cinco-de-Mayo-Disrespectful-Thriving-and-not-Historically-Related-Advertising Food for thought. I didn't really know the history or significance of the date until I read the above link. How is it, that everyone and their pinche Madre, Mexican or Irish is celebrating this holiday? It is like the Mexican version of St. Patricks Day because as we all know the beer will flow on this day just like St. Paddy's, when even Mexican are Irish. So its only fitting that everyone is a little Mexican on Cinco De Mayo right? Not.... I mean they aren't going to go do their laundry at the laundromat on Sunday or go to work on Monday at jobs most lazy Americans wouldn't dream of doing. Their kids are going to school to take tests that are culturally skewed. No none of that but what they will be doing is going out to eat at Mexican Restaurants where they think they are getting real Mexican fare, they really need to go to that little hole in the wall or better yet a Taco truck, where they make homemade corn tortillas right in front of you when you order your tacos de asada. They will be adding salsa to something they will eat. Salsa is America's number one condiment, surpassing ketchup. They will be drinking Margaritas and Patron too....tequila makes her clothes fall off, after all. They will be planting their salsa gardens. I mean hey, I will be doing all of that too, so its all good.

Our country is founded on any number of contradictions and making a holiday out of another countries history is just one of them. I won't go on and on but I think you get my point... this was good for a laugh or an opportunity to piss you off, either way why don't you watch my video on how to make taco shells for Cinco De Mayo so you can stop going to Taco Bell that is not real Mexican food folks...WHATEVER YOUR RACE, BE AN HONORARY MEXICAN FOR THE DAY TOMORROW AND CELEBRATE THAT'S ONE THING EVERYONE HAS IN COMMON WE NEVER NEED AN EXCUSE TO GET TOGETHER WITH FAMILIA AND FRIENDS AND DRINK UP....HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

 HAH  A LIL SELF PROMOTION I AM AFTER ALL A Mexican AMERICAN......

Saturday, April 21, 2012

16 is an age not a homocide statisitc...how youth violence has affected MY COMMUNITY...

I'm awake, up on a beautiful Saturday morning to the drone of fans, yes, it is already that hot. My girls and grandson sleeping in, the house is quiet. I think of how grateful I am that they are here asleep and safe in bed. I never really gave a second thought to letting them go down to the park, or go hang out with their friends or even worried about the two block walk to school for my highschooler. Now I am going to make sure their phones are paid even though I really cannot afford it and that I know what they are doing every second of the day. This little town is not so safe as I thought it was. A young man lost his life this week, a 16 year old boy killed by a 15 year old boy at 2:30 in the afternoon on a school day. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. I like everyone else who heard about it sat and wondered if it was someone we knew, my daughter is 16 also. Was it someone she had grown up with? I know some were calling their family members to be reassured that it was not anyone they were related to. It was on Facebook by 6 pm that day, the young man's name was Jesse Espinoza. My daughter was not sure if she knew him, but it did not matter to her because the mere fact that someone her age had died because of "gang violence" was what made his death a tragedy.
I don't want to write about the details of how Jesse lost his life, I want to write about the fact that he was someones son. I pray that his family draws strength from their faith and the community. His friends and family say he was a good kid, always smiling, joking around. The people in this town care and have come together because we are tired of hearing that our young people are becoming statistics.
Statistics say 16 youths die every day to homocide. Statistics that reflect the rise of gang violence in our sleepy ag town, Madera, California. A Facebook page was set up the following day by a pair of young people who want to see change. The group is called "STOP GANG VIOLENCE", and has grown to 914 invites or added people....in two days! Now I know some people will say, "Yeah you are living in lala land... gangs will always be around." And while that is true, people don't need to accept it or tolerate it. The simple fact is that these were young men who had their whole lives ahead of them.That is what really upsets me. Everyone involved was under 18. What are our kids thinking when they are walking the streets with guns? The media is highlighting the fact that these boys all had "gang affiliation", and also that they were in a continuation school, because they had been expelled from the district. I don't want to make that the focus here, I want to make the fact that they were kids the focus..kids who maybe got into trouble, made some bad choices for whatever reason, but they were kids.
People have posted comments on Facebook that it starts in the home, and I believe that, but I also know that kids will do what they want to do. It is a different time from when I grew up in the 70's and 80's. Kids have a lot coming at them today. They want to feel important. As the mom of three daughters I have been raising pretty much alone for the last 20 years, I have had to work and take care of them. I know I can't be everpresent in their daily lives. My kids have made some decisions that have changed their lives, but I am and always have been here for them. Parents are not always the problem. Peers have a heavy influence on the choices teens make today. I have been dealing with just that with one of my children.
In 2010 the homicide rate for people aged 10-24 in Madera County was 11.39 per 100,000 residents according to this link http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/15/2027374/youth-violence-plagues-the-state.html Thousands of teens have been in and out of the Department of Juvenile Justice's CYA in the state of California, most of them for violent crimes, yet the DJJ like every other intstitution has faced severe cuts. In 1997 the DJJ had 10,000 residents compared to the 1279 residents in a 6 month period in 2010 according to this link http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/15/2027374/youth-violence-plagues-the-state.html an informative paper written about the DJJ and CYA. Teens have only gotten more violent. 20 percent of homicides are gang related in 88 large cities according to CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/youthviolence/gang_affiliation.html, yet the average number of youths in gangs varies according to certain factors,7% to 26%, these factors which include parental monitering, coping skills, reducing delinquency, and reducing drug and alcohol use would decrease a childs chances of becoming involved in gangs. The thing that I see missing is peer pressure.....I know in the final analysis what I have taught my children is important, that it is at the crux of their moral compass, but I also know from firsthand experience that teens are heavily influenced by outside factors.
In order to make a difference our community has got to band together, be willing to work with local law enforcement agencies, communicate with our young people, open a dialogue that encourages everyone to be positively involved. If one child listens and has hope for their future then what are we waiting for? The CDC has programs to reduce youth violence  http://www.safeyouth.gov/Pages/Home.aspx to learn more about STRYVE view the video and go to the link above.







I do know that I, like Louis and Gloria Hardesty, the Facebook group founders of STOP GANG VIOLENCE https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/363564637012675/ want to see something positive come out of this tragedy. I hope that we can make STRYVE  a local campaign. I want to know that my kids can walk to the store or school or go hang out with their friends and that my community is watching them. It breaks my heart to even write about this, but fear is a big motivator, I don't want to be afraid for my kids and grandson anymore, I want to be hopeful.When you are sixteen you should be learning to drive a car, thinking about the trivial things like what to wear to school, texting your friends or even more important things like planning your future, what school to go to, not thinking, "Will I be a homocide statisitic?"

Monday, April 9, 2012

SORRY YOU DIDN'T LIKE MY FACEBOOK STATUS, FRANKLY MY DEAR I DON'T GIVE A DAMN!

Apparently I may have to start adding this to my FB status, "ANY RESEMBLANCE TO ANY PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL." Lately I have alienated several people with Facebook posts, just my thoughts about something that was going on in my life at the moment that they may or may not have been a part of and they either thought they knew who I was referring to or else they knew it was them. I have been told by these "friends" that I shouldn't have posted those "feelings" of mine on Facebook. The fact of the matter is that whatever I choose to post is my business and if you do not like it BLOCK ME. I have blocked people who I view as assholes, and I am sure that I am someone's asshole out in the Facebook universe. That being said, who are these "friends" of mine to tell me what I should and should not post. According to Facebook itself, " Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." I think the fact that some of my "friends" had made comments to support me are what have upset the subjects of my posts. Keep in mind I use no names just how I feel. So in doing this I opened up what was a personal situation to that person and shared it with the Facebook Universe and  in that persons eyes I insulted them and their family...hope they don't see this blog then! A personal motto of mine is to not say anything about anyone if I cannot say it to their face directly, one thing I will do is be direct in person. I would expect the same from someone who has something to say about me, I prefer you say it to me. With that said I will not edit or censor my feelings for the few who I may offend. Trust me you don't want me to hold it inside, I did that for a long time and ended up stabbing someone....more about that in this link http://noturtypicalgma.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-had-ambitions-and-dreams-then-i-went.html  I am the type of person who tries not to hide who or what I am or the things I have been through. I think I am "real" what you see, is what you get. I don't have a Facebook page that has nothing but positive posts or religious quotes nor do I think my page is narcissistic, its just me and my life and my family and friends. The good the bad, the ugly, my feelings my thoughts, my hopes my dreams, the occasional F word, or show of support for any one of my "friends" So tell me do you edit or censor or block your Facebook, and if so whats the reason? Have you deleted people, and why? Do you check your Facebook before you say, get out of bed or before you turn in, do you have notifications sent to your phone, do you have an app for it on your  phone so you can access even at a funeral? What do you Facebook? Why do you Facebook? Is your Facebook public? So you block certain people? The following link allows you to control your settings and who views your pages and what your "friends" see https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy&ref=mb, I personally don't block people from posts unless they are minors and there is something I don't want to share with them. All of my children have access to my page including my youngest who is 12 but for the sake of Facebook sign up has been 13 for the last year....I also view their pages and if they choose to block something from my view that is their choice. 
 So I have lost a "friend" or two or have strained some relationship because of my posts but were they ever really my "friend" in the true sense of the word, I mean come on, I have never been to your home and you have never been to mine, I generally "know" the people on my Facebook in some way either as my friends in real life, coworkers, family, people from church. Some of my "friends" have met through mutual friends or from my child being involved in her sport...you can label your "friends" now..which is apparently something I will do next, just so there is no confusion the next time you see something you may think is about you that you may not like on my page. Happy Facebooking!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Parable of the Proud Daughter: Supporting your Childs Decisions Even If Its Hard!

Sometimes as a parent it is hard to sit and watch you child's life unfold. The times when things are going well and they are successful make you proud of course and are a joy to watch. Those are automatic feelings that happen when pride swells your chest and you say "That's my kid!" to anyone who will listen. I have 3 wonderful daughters and sometimes I feel they only hear the negative things that I say. I know that's all I heard from my Dad. It took a long time to become a "better" parent, more mindful of things I say, even today I ranted and said "stupid" a few times. I am frustrated with "stuff" and I have a lot on my mind. I have been slipping in the praise department, and I know it.

I have my oldest daughter on my mind today as I request friends on Facebook to pray for her to make some hard decisions, that in part have come about because of someone else's irresponsibility's. Some were her own choices, but in the end most of the situation came from something that was not in her control. I selfishly want her to come home and live in my little house again. She has in the past and we have butted heads a lot! I think this time its different, no boyfriend drama is involved, shes an adult now and her son is going to be 4 this year. I think she knows she has to make some choices in his best interest. As much as I want them here so she can get on her feet, I know that is how much she wants to stand alone and be a grown up.

The fact is she is still my Baby, my first baby at that, and I have watched her successes and choices that have led her to a point she is at now happen. I wont call them mistakes or failures, because my grandson is not that. Getting pregnant with him at fifteen changed the way her life would go. I want her to believe that she can still attain her dreams, she has always wanted to work in the criminal justice system with at risk youth, kids like her. She has no high school diploma and tends to want everything to happen NOW! If she studies she will finish her math GED, she is a whiz at English, but math is  for her as it is for me, hard. Her time on welfare is running out, and though she is currently going to beauty school, she may have to take a leave or quit. Especially if she moves home with me. I keep telling her that she CAN finish her GED that she CAN go to college, that she CAN even join the armed services, or continue her education at a school like Fresno State. She is having a hard time believing that I think. Believing in herself. I will never stop believing in her ever, because she is MY kid, made up of the same indomitable DNA that I am. I never let anyone or anything hold me back, yet like her I am my own worst enemy when I fear failure! Sometimes letting my PRIDE get in my way and cloud my judgement. She is too big for this small town life and I know she wants to see more of the world, and I know that will one day take her away from me. For now though I want her home in our crazy little house, safe and sound like the "Prodigal Son". I told her last night that she needed to pray about her decision, and that I would be here for both she and my grandson, and I will be, whatever she decides, sometimes you need to let them fly, let them find themselves...even if it breaks your heart.
I spent a sleepless night and cried a lot. We never stop being Mama's even when they have babies of their own. Love you my Proud Daughter.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

AN OPEN INVITATION TO MY FUNERAL...WHY BOBBY BROWN SHOULD BE AT WHITNEY'S FUNERAL

It has been such a sad time lately, with all of the deaths of great artists and movers and shakers in the music industry….Whitney Houston being the latest one. I remember her as young model for Seventeen Magazine in my teenage angst years, that magazine was my Bible. I didn’t know then what I learned recently upon her death, that she was the first Black cover model for that magazine. When she ventured into singing, I remember singing her songs in the shower or in my room and watching her videos on MTV. She was a Star in every sense of the word. What saddens me most is that her death has become a media circus. The innuendo of the circumstances of her death. The reality of her years with Bobby Brown and her addiction. The inquiries into the much speculated talk that Whitney, like Michael had doctor shopped and gotten numerous prescriptions from several physician’s. Even talk about if Bobby Brown should be allowed to attend her funeral. It is all just a dark cloud hanging  over the memory of her Great Voice, even moreso to  the memory of the person she was to those that loved her, including her ex-husband Bobby Brown.

Death is something I have been keenly aware of ever since I was a child, it was no stranger to me and I knew as I got older that I would die one day too. I have talked to my daughters about how I would want my funeral to be. Who should be there….I have banned no one, this is my open invitation to my Celebration Of Life. All I ask in return is that you respect my wishes and those of my families. I know in some circumstances certain people should not be involved in the public or private services of one they once loved, forbidden even, to attend. It could have devestating effects on others that they even be there. I understand this way of thinking because it was my Fathers wish to forbid certain members of his family from both my Mother's and his funeral. This came about after a falling out over the way my Grandma's estate was somehow not dispersed to him, but yet to all 3 of his other siblings. It was common knowledge in the family and was uttered out of my Grandparent's mouths that when they died the property their home was on would be his one day. It did not happen that way and I won’t go into further detail because I personally do not know all of the circumstances involving my Aunts decision to disinherit my Father. I do know it caused a chasm so deep in the family that it made my father tell them in no uncertain terms were my Aunt, the executor of my Grandmas estate or his other sister were not to attend his funeral or his wife’s.  His brother, my Uncle did attend, he was also my Father’s caregiver in his final years. While I bear no ill will to any of them, I agree that them not coming was the best idea at the time, because I for one would have at that time probably spit on them. Now as a full grown adult I know Karma has a way of working on people like that. I have heard that she is quite ill and has numerous health problems. While I am sorry that she is suffering and I know there will be a day when she passes away I will in all likelihood not attend her funeral. She not only slighted my father, but denied my daughters her Great Nieces as if they were mere strangers in a public setting ignoring them from just a few feet away. This happened when I was in jail for my domestic violence incident. I want to think in my head maybe they just did not know what to say to them, but then again I remember who I am thinking about. We were, as my father was, the Black Sheep of the family.That being said, I will say nothing more about it, because my Mother taught me if you have nothing nice to say (this only pertains to family) then don't say anything at all.  

I have told my daughters that regardless of my relationship with their father, past- present- future, (because there are people in my family that hate him that much) he is to be a crucial part of any celebration of my life. The people who are uncomfortable with that don’t need to be there. They don’t matter, my wishes and my children’s feelings are what matter. Whitney’s daughter should be the focus, what she wants and may need is her Father to be there. People who love and live that hard are not easily forgotten for each other. Whatever happened in their relationship to become so toxic is not different than any other average person.  As a guest said on "Nancy Grace", a show I love to hate, “The only difference between Whitney and any other person was that she was famous…” No one worries about who’s going to the funeral of the meth head on the corner. Or even if Joe Blow goes to several doctors to get oxycontin or vicodin because after he hurt his back he has become addicted.   For those that are famous, and under the scrutiny of the medias giant microscope their every move in life becomes a well-orchestrated event to either get them attention or to try to not be the center of it. Even their deaths become tabloid news, and their last moments speculated on with so much intensity that I wonder how people like Nancy Grace sleep....or does she? She is a predator of the media kind and while I admit to watching her show and even talking back to her and her guests (albeit my t.v.) it still does not justify that a star like Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson are only seen as their celebrity status and not human beings who were flawed as most of us mere mortals are.

I choose to remember Whitney Houston as a person who made an indelible mark on the world with the beautiful, powerful, voice she had such amazing control of, as that fresh faced young girl with the whole world ahead of her, the girl on the cover of my teen bible…Seventeen.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sober Life.....I was slapped in the face by my codependent behavior, reality check for mates of those getting sober...


This past weekend was probably one of the best times I have ever spent with my family. My 3 girls, my grandson and my Love. I had dreamed of  days like this not so long ago and often times I had given up hope of having them. When you love an addict you are always waiting for the bottom to fall out, and now after all of these years of waiting for my love to realize that he deserves happiness, its finally happening and I don't know how I feel about it. Don't get me wrong I am soo glad that he is on a road to recovery and sobriety. It has been two long years in rehabs and though I have prayed every day for this I am forced to look at myself as he gains a new outlook on life. Forced to realize that I too need to change harmful old patterns of behavior and change my role in our relationship. He is becoming the guy I fell in love with 20 years ago...funny, confident, loving, the person everyone loves to be around and gravitate to. I am an antisocial people hater..... I say that as nicely as possible. We are complete opposites and that is what I love about him the most, he is all of the things I am not. He brings out the best in me, and unfortunately when he was in his addiction he brought out the worst in me. I was a textbook co-dependent and to some degree I still am, but I have gotten better at drawing boundaries with him.


This weekend I had to check myself for falling into an old pattern, we were having a great day a 12 hour visit and we had a lot planned. I had a lot of stress just getting to him, car rental issues and creditcard issues and no sleep issues. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve, filled with the anxiousness of seeing him after 3 long months since our last visit. It was great, all of  our girls were so excited to see him. My grandson also came, who took to him like he has not been gone. I wanted to take him shopping and buy him some much needed things, specifically tennis shoes, we shopped at the Gilroy outlets after a long morning of Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aptos Beach. Tired and beat I took my girls shopping as I had promised. He was excited just like them. For some reason he loves tennis shoes and I knowing this let him run wild looking at shoes. He was stuck on getting these ugly for lack of a better description effeminate looking sleek Nikes. I told him no, and as I heard myself say it I flashed back to the days of his addiction. I wanted to be in control of the fucking tennis shoe buying experience! This continued for three stores, too expensive, or he just didn't like Vans...I love them and have the hots for guys who wear them. Ok some guys. He then came across some 60 dollar Etnies and I had another shit fit...really I dont even spend that much on any item for myself...my kids maybe but me or him certainly not! I said no again. Wow, was I trying to suck the fun out of the trip or what? In all honesty I could of bought them, but wanted to hold it over his head that I had rented a car, paid for our trip and wasn't that going to be good enough for him...did he really need these damned tennis shoes? I told him as much when I went and bought a purse for 30.00 way over what I normally spend, it was leather and 70 percent off? I deserved it! He reverted to the kid he was when his Mom tried to make him eat meatloaf...nope he had to have Pioneer Chicken...remember that? Or Mc Donalds....I told him your not that lil kid anymore and he said he was "sorry, take back the things you bought me and I am just happy with you just being here."  That made me feel like shit....in the old days he would take it for granted that I would forgive him and reward him... a definite codependent pattern, and I would chide him and make him feel bad. Then he would be sorry and we would make up after hours of arguing.


This little tennis shoe incident made me realize that I need to work on my issues as he gets well. I too, need to stop trying to create conflict when there should not be any. He has had a history of sabotaging important days, especially holidays, and I have learned to react. So now that he has been working on himself and instead made the day memorable for our children in a good way, I had to sabotage it. I caught myself and apologized too. He settled on some tennis shoes he was happy with. I felt good buying them for him. I know in time he will be here helping me support our children financially and emotionally and making a better way, I know he can only do that sober. I know that we can only be a family if I work on my stuff too. Being in control is not all its cracked up to be. Sometimes like the waves ebbing in you just have to go with the flow. Our visit ended as I dropped him off and we said our goodbyes....I watched him walk in with his box of clothes and new shoes and he held his head up high. Something I have not seen him do much of in the past. I am so proud of my love, so proud of him in so many ways. I thank God for answering my prayers..."Dear God if you just let me have one day with my family where everything goes right I would be so happy!"  Yes it was one of the best days yet of my Loves sobriety, and a painful lesson for me. Learning to let him be independent from my control will bring us even closer. Ironic how he is teaching me that!