The little things…

We are very quickly approaching the end of the year. OMG, Where does time go?

I have been busy learning new things, expanding my skills set, even learning how to become more technically oriented (loving it) my “smartphone” has made me more efficient than I ever suspected I could ever be. Still, I still prefer the old-fashioned desktop computer when it comes to writing, studying or researching for long periods of time.

I recently became a licensed Life & Health and Annuities agent, and have spent many hours online preparing for this new “venture/career”, the process has been interesting and enjoyable, for the most part (time-consuming) and I am now in the process of writing a business blog; that is a story for another day but one of reasons I have not been posting here more frequently. LOL

In addition, I have been spending quality time with my family, especially the little granddaughters, and those times have been precious! Here are some of those moments and some of the places from the last two months, we have been all over just having fun together!

These were all snapped while we visited Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, SC

Beautiful cities, my first time there but not the last!

Hilton Head 092 Hilton Head 097 Hilton Head 120 Hilton Head 124 Hilton Head 127 Hilton Head 146 Hilton Head 156 Hilton Head 161

Hola Abuela!
Hola Abuela!

The women in my life

Occasionally, random thoughts assault your brain for no particular reason; they just appear out of nowhere and somehow occupy your mind for undetermined amounts of time. Today has been one of those days when I have been thinking about the women in my life. The line is long and strong and I am a proud link on this chain.

My mother, Norma, was the best example of an independent woman I ever knew; she was a mother of four and a “working woman” long before it was fashionable. She held down a 9-5 job as an administrative assistant in the Panama Canal Company, the last of various positions held from the time when she first arrived there at age nineteen until her premature death at forty-eight.  Just as women today, she did so to contribute to the household income. My dad, Lloyd, would have liked her to stay home, he worked for the Star & Herald newspaper, and used to say “I can take care of my family alone” but mom had her own ideas. I wonder where I get that from, hmm. They were the best parents we could have asked for.

The women and children in my life

Women have always been a very important part of my life, starting with my very first BFF, my mother. I could go to her with anything I had in mind—be it discussing the mysteries of becoming a young woman and all that it entails to talking about boy crushes, to figuring out what to wear to the prom—anything. In fact, when we announced our engagement to my parents, my mother took over wedding planning with such determination, that my only involvement in the whole process consisted of showing up for dress fittings and being on time for the wedding. I could count on her to come through for me.

Luckily, I also have my sister, Lydia; she is two years younger; to this day still my best friend. My sister and I have been inseparable ever since she came into my world—yes, we have two brothers and we love them dearly—but they are…well hmm men!

Since I am reflecting on the women in my life, you would need to know that when I met and married Carl, we like any other couple had plans for children; I never gave it a thought as to boys or girls, he hoped there would be at least one boy, I would be happy to just become a mother. Our daughter Natalie arrived first; then Nasima, my sister’s child and our niece appeared and I was like okay, I think girls are in our destiny and then came Yasmin our second daughter and last child; I was totally convinced—women are what will surround us. Sorry dad…to make the circle complete at the time, we even had female dogs. LOL

All along this road of life, I counted with the support of “women of strength” such as my grandmother, aunts and girlfriends—thanks to Facebook, I have even stayed in touch with my high school partner in crime, Rina. She has worked relentlessly to pull out of the woodwork many of the friends with whom I had lost touch decades ago, today we correspond just as we did when we were still in our teens.

Today, my BFF circle is tight—it consists of the women mentioned before, but what holds me together is the love and friendship of my daughters—and that includes my niece, even though she is technically my sister’s child; I am so proud of the women they have become in their own right. My other mother—Lois, who is actually my cousin and someone my parents had the great idea to commission as my “Godmother” all those years ago, when I was born. I am grateful for her because when I suddenly lost my mother, long before she could meet any of her grandchildren, I still have Aunt Lois as my go to mom—to answer all of the questions I still have even at this stage of life.

The likely reason I got into this sentimental journey–this past weekend we were in Orlando celebrating the baptism of Elisa, and as usual during family gatherings, I looked around at our children, nieces, nephews, in-laws and reflected on the great family we are. If that was not enough, the circle of life continues to bless us these days, with granddaughters, yes–more girls–Lauryn, Elisa and Sydney.

Of course—we are not perfect but truth be told this is the only family I would ever need or want and I am a truly blessed and grateful part of it!

The dog days of our lives…

My hubby and I have been married a long time; I love him dearly and think he loves me too (just kidding, hon!). For most of our married life we have always had a dog. Our first was Susie, a German shepherd we got as a gift when she was about 4 weeks old. Susie stuck around us for twelve years; until one gray winter day when she ran across the street to go to the park; and we never saw her again. I loved that dog!

Susie was about eight years old when my hubby came home one day with a fawn colored Doberman whom we promptly named Dee Dee because she introduced herself to us, by going on our carpet! Two large dogs in our household at a time, what was he thinking? Dee Dee was one unlucky dog though, she contracted Parvo when she was six years old, and we had to put to her sleep.

Our children must have thought she was a horse as she allowed them to ride her. She was amazingly gentle with them considering what they put her through on so many occasions–even their friends joined in on the rides; that was one crazy dog. These were our two dogs while we lived in New York.

Lucky dog

A couple of years later, we moved to Florida; and voila’ another dog. His name was Lucky, so named because I found him one day under my car as I was getting ready to go home from work. My girlfriend took a look at the little mongrel and proclaimed: “You should take him home, he looks like a Sheltie, they are little dogs, he would not get too big”. I took a look at his sad eyes and did just that–took him home with me. He was our first introduction to a Marley and Me dog-like experience and definitely not a Sheltie; Lassie’s size is what comes to mind; a mixed breed, a jumper, runner, destroyer of everything in sight: records, doors, gates, carpet, vinyl, paper, plastic, plants–you name it!

The hubby? He was like “we” agreed there would be no more dogs, right? He has to go! Needless to say, we really are suckers for puppies. We survived Lucky’s antics and his eighty pounds, for 14 years. He brought lots of joy to our lives.

Every dog owner I know who has gone through the death of a pet, I am sure feels the same way. The process of grieving, the feeling of loss and then we all swear “never again”, that is the last time I put myself through this! That was the two of us two years ago, when Lucky died. Did I mention I have had a dog in my life, since I was a small child?

Enter Sasha, our Labrador and Husky mix, who is now 6 months old and almost 50 pounds. I tried to resist the temptation of getting another dog, but as I said before I really am a sucker for dogs. She is our current and last dog, and our latest Marley and Me experience. Lol!

I see signs of intelligence in her, she somewhat listens to our commands–when she feels like it; loves praises. Good girl Sasha, sit, you are such a good girl. However, she is not too obedient when it comes to our allowing her to roam around the house; we have to stay vigilant, watch her every move. I keep threatening her and the hubby with sending her back where she came from (Ormond Beach), and reminding him, he is the reason why she is still here. She is a big girl, and a rambunctious one at that; and she is definitely no Alpha dog. All she has to do is hear a garbage truck, or a school bus, or anything with a large engine–and she immediately makes a mad dash for the hills!

My new mantra? Where the hell is that “Dog Whisperer” when you really need him? Cesar Millan I need you and I need you now!

Two granddaughters in two months. What are the odds?

Just so you know, I did not forget about you. I had very important assignments during the last few months, and they took precedence over my blogging duties. So much has happened in our lives since the last time I spoke to you.

Here goes, Miss Elisa Londyn was born on May 30 2011, the beautiful bundle of joy’s parents were beside themselves, in more ways than one. Does anyone remember the first few days after delivery? I do, very vividly, not only my own but our daughters’ too. Miss Elisa arrived on a Monday afternoon, and took her departure from the comfort of her mother’s womb very seriously; when I met her approximately 30 minutes later, all she had to say was a loud “whoa, whoa, whoa!!!” She cried as if to say “who let me out? I was doing just fine in there, Grandma. I want my mommy!

Elisa, Lauryn and Sydney

Let me tell you, as one of the two proud grandmas I was beside myself with joy. I stayed with the new parents for about 10 days to help ease them into their brand new role. Time spent was priceless; we bonded like nobody’s business and by the time I left, everyone was pretty much in sync with each other. Daddy took to being the “poopy diaper engineer” and mommy thrilled at being relieved of this particular job. Of course, she too, eventually had to step-up to the “poopy” plate. Mind you grandma was on task from the beginning but had to make sure to delegate duties just before returning home.

That was granddaughter number two; you still remember our first, Miss Lauryn, “the big sister” as she is known these days? Sydney Joyce, granddaughter number 3, arrived on July 30, to the delight of little Miss Lauryn, her parents and grandparents; Miss Lauryn has taken control of the situation, for the most part. She is mommy’s little helper, checking in on her little sister regularly and reporting to mommy when she believes there is a diaper change in order.

According to her auntie “Titi”, Lauryn can talk to little Sydney; we had a few hilarious moments a few weeks ago when all three grand-kids, parents and grandparents convened together for a baby meet-up. Titi asked Miss Lauryn one day, what her sister wanted because she was crying; she responded: “she says she wants to eat, and I think she has a poopy diaper!” We all rolled over with laughter at that assessment; and you know what? She was right!

BTW, I will never forget Sidney’s arrival into this world either; I was in the birthing room. I will never forget seeing her little head come out and without prompting and right before the shoulders were out, she made her singing debut, she was like “at last, what the heck took you all so long?” I’ve been ready for this!

Stay tuned; I am sure this will be  a joyous and totally funny ride. I love my grand babies and their parents tremendously; they are my pride and joy. I am thankful for them, and am especially thankful for the wealth of material they are going to supply Grandma with for the pages of this blog!

That’s what I am talking about!
Marcia C

Just wait until you have your own!

Everything in life is about a time and a season; right now it is grandparents’ season in our life.
As I patiently (not really) wait for the arrival of our grand baby girl number 3; I can’t help but think back to my own early days as my mother’s daughter. Back then, I had a question and answer for everything, but most of all, I  had  convinced myself that my parents didn’t know anything about the trials of growing up. I was sure they had both been born as adults, skipped childhood entirely… and then became our parents! LOL!
Well let me tell you! I found out what my mother meant when she said: “just wait until you have your own” over thirty plus years ago, when I became a mother for the first time and; many times since then wondered if our own children felt the same way about us, my hubby and I, as parents. It does not really matter, because by now I am quite sure they are feeling the same way I did when hit with the awareness of self discovery. Parenthood changes everything, and I mean everything! In our case, it was for the better, the reasons for doing anything became our children.
Before their arrival, it was a party all the time (hey, we were young adults) but when they entered our lives the parties changed, they moved home, and became children birthday parties instead, for the most part. Where did the time go? I find myself telling people these days to make sure they enjoy their children (I am glad I did) because they grow up way too fast. Before you know it and if you are lucky, they become adults, and make you a grandparent. OMG!!! Where did the time go?!
Let me tell you, my mother was right; and at some point I know my own daughters will feel the same way too, life is a cycle. We are born, grow up, and then die. The only things that matter are the in-between; how we live our lives is what counts, we have no way of knowing how long we have on this earth—but I can assure you, currently I am in grandmother’s heaven. I have enjoyed the process of helping (along with my hubby) create two great human beings in our two daughters, and now beam at seeing them and their hubbies taking on the challenges of parenthood; and now look forward to being around when they tell their own children what grandma used to say: “just wait until you have your own” Lol!
“Magra” was my granddaughter, Lauryn’s first name for me, that was before I graduated to Grandma (my current moniker) when she could finally pronounce it); since I am a Latina I will also answer to Abuela. I am anxious to hear what Elisa and soon to arrive new Baby C will be calling me; they can call me Grandma, Nana, Nona, Oma, Ya-Ya, all meaning “grandmother” in various cultures around the world; I will answer to any of those names, as long as they are coming from my  grand babies, and it is said with LOVE!
Marcia C

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