Don’t Quit – Poem

29 04 2009

For those of us who at times feel the need to quit or runaway from all the pain and struggles.





Do Schools Kills Creativity?

24 04 2009




Another Year

23 04 2009

Today is my Birthday!

The year began on a positive note, many new experiences in my life and even though I found myself on unfamiliar territory I found out that it was okay, I could handle it. I don’t need to always do and say the same things and a little change brought a freshness that my life was lacking at that moment. Life is a cycle and like many other times in my life I had to deal with some very familiar situations I wished I didn’t have to. Accepting what I could not changed doesn’t come easy for me but I had no choice but to accept it.

Fear took the best of me at times but in time I faced my demons, there was no way I could ignored them so I handled it to the best of my knowledge and ability. I looked for allies and with them I was able to see a little bit further than I could all by myself. The assurance was that all would be well in time, different maybe, but fine.

I lost something that was very valuable to me in this whole process, trust; trust in someone I trusted more than myself and that led me to a very painful awakening which hasn’t heal yet and I am not sure if it will ever will. Nothing will ever be the same, but we are not the same for very long anyway so I might just as well learn that.

I don’t look at the future with the same eyes anymore and that could be a good thing. Anything is possible and surprises could be just around the corner. I don’t expect bad things but I am not so naive anymore so it won’t take me by surprise. Situations manifest itself in many subtle and impacting ways in order to teach me something, so I will pay more attention from now on. I will learn the lessons and move on, in time I hope to graduate from this life to the next.

All in all I am thankful for this year, it has taught me a lot; that dreams come true, that I am truly alive, that I matter to many people, that my heart bleeds sometimes, that I am capable of powerful emotions, that I have faith and hope, that there is only one person I can trust, that there is always one person who TRULY loves me, that I want to fly, that I know I can and that one day I will.

So here it is, to another year. To hopefully many more and better ones than this one. Here it is to me and to all those I share my love and life with.

Cheers!!

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No Money to Travel? This Could be the Answer!!

20 04 2009

fly

Days have rolled into weeks and weeks into months and it seems we still have to wait a while for this economy to come to some kind of balance but in the meantime I need to find a way to relax and enjoy myself and why not in my own home?

The last trips I have taken lately were emergencies, the necessity to go and assist my parents as they were sick and in hospitals and even though a change of scenery was good it was not the same as traveling for pure pleasure. Thankfully we had the opportunity to go on a cruise together in November but aside from that I won’t be doing any traveling for a while.

So what can we do when we don’t have much money to blow but still need that much needed trip and mental relaxation? I decided to transform my surroundings with paint!

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Drawing my ideas from one of my favorite places, Italy. I chose colors from nature, their homes, their fabrics, and the food to highlight different areas in my home; family room, kitchen, foyer and library. So far the family room and kitchen is finished and I can feel how the colors changed the way I feel when I walk in. All the decorations I had on the walls now pop up against a strong background color and little by little I come to think about the beauty of my beloved Italy which I still have to see in person once in my life. What are your favorite places? Try to gather pictures, paintings, pots, vases, candles, flowers, and colors that remind you of those places. You probably already have a few things around, dust them and put them around the house for everyone to enjoy. Postcards are great to put under the glass of a table or on an inexpensive picture frame. Plan an evening at home with some friends or family, everyone can bring something and in that way you won’t spend much money either. Pick a theme and make it memorable, take a lot of pictures and make a small album with them.

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I have traveling magazines lying around and I was thinking about cutting pictures of places I liked and group them together in some kind album to sit with it and get even more ideas and inspiration to recreate other areas of my home with it. I always wanted one of those open terrace with an outdoor long dining table to dine al fresco. My backyard is nice enough to grant plenty of late afternoon walks or just plain lay on the grass with a big blanket and have a picnic or lay down to see the clouds pass by. One thing I need to add is more flowers for color.

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Food is another way to transport ourselves to far away places, pull out some of your cookbooks and try new recipes now that you have more time available. Integrate a few typical decorating items that would complete the food and turn on the music. I look for the weekly sales in the supermarket and stock up on them. I used to stock 2 refrigerators but those days are gone. Now I plan better what I am going to cook and try to cook just enough so that I don’t have left overs. Couple of bottles of wine are always available just in case I feel like sipping before, during or after dinner. We need to give ourselves a little treat even though we can’t spend much money on them, the ritual is what matters and if you can share it with your friends, neighbors or family even better.

Have anymore ideas?





A Little Inspiration for the Day

18 04 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. “





Creating Opportunity

16 04 2009

It just break my heart to see so many capable and dedicated people lose their jobs and possessions;their homes, their cars, their credit and sometimes even their relationships.

I am not sure if this a common practice, but I found out that some employers now check on candidates and employees credit reports in order to get hire or dismiss personnel. This brings a whole new set of situations to deal with when you find yourself out of work for too long. I don’t believe is fair that credit reports get so much weight on hiring decisions specially during these hard economic time. Most of the people are responsible with their credit at least paying the minimum amounts if they can. Credit card companies are so unwilling to work with their customers that they continue to raise their interest rates without any concern for the ultimate result, default. When a customer is having a hard time paying their debts but are willing to continue paying what they should do is reduce the interest rate and work towards a solution, it is much better than to have to write the account off and never get their money back. I believe this is an issue the government should also consider taking in, with this kind of domino effect on people’s financial state the economy will take a very long time to regain its strength.

If people is not able to find work the next thing to do would be to create and opportunity for themselves. This time could be turned into a blessing as we learn how to use our hard earned money. There is no doubt that somehow this period of time would be remembered by the time when we learned what is really important in our life and a deep understanding of the many blessings of living a simple life. Families are getting closer together as they try to help one another stay afloat. Our children for once learn that they can’t have everything in life and that they need to prepare for the unexpected.

I come from a family where hardships came and went, right from the start my parents looked to work with the ordeals that presented themselves in their life. There was always a moment when an important decision needed to be done in order to change the course of their financial situations and I believe the same thing happens to all of us.

My parents lived in a very small cottage far away from town when they first got married, it was a place who needed much work and his brother owned it, he let if fix it in exchange to live there for free for two years. They had no water or electricity, my dad would come with a tank of water in the back of the truck every afternoon after work and I was just a newborn. I can not imagine having to wash dirty diapers and clothes by hand, cook and clean without potable water but that is what my mother did. Then all the sudden my dad hit the lottery and got enough money to purchase 5 1/2 acres of land. He gave a deposit and with the rest of the money built a small house. They lived there a few years while he work as an excavator operator for someone else. He noticed how busy they were and the phone would not stop ringing for more and more work to be done. At that time the property purchase agreement was coming to an end and he decided to sell it instead. He had divided the lot in two; one empty and the other with the house. With the sale money he had enough to buy another home or a brand new excavator to begin working on his own. He consulted my mom about it and my mom told him to go ahead with the business idea instead and she would move in with her parents and me and my dad to his parents for a while. But the lawyer who sold the lot to him had another property pending in his investments and wanted my dad to see it. My dad liked it but had no money but $1,000 after buying the excavator to cover for the payments just in case he could not get work. The lawyer went ahead and bought the house and offered it to him with the $1,000 down payment and a $500 payment every six months for 3 years. So my dad would let go of the $1,000 he offered to lend him the money back if he needed it at any time if he had no work to cover for the excavator’s payment. Well, my dad didn’t have to borrow the money he had enough business to make the payments and his business began to grow from there. From one excavator he expanded to a few different equipments that he bought as he got jobs for them, many times he would get a contract and then buy the equipment needed to complete it and most of the time with the rental of the equipment the machine was practically paid off. It wasn’t long before he then bought a better and bigger home closer to town. Every 5-7 years he would move to a better place. He invested his profits in more properties, some land and some with houses in that way he was able to get loans against the properties if needed or sell them in order to expand or survive. He has so much work that at one point instead of continuing to grow his business his brothers began to buy equipment also and he began to pass work to them. Today most of the family owns and operates heavy equipment and transportation trucks. My two brothers are two top operators for a company in the United States.

Changes always bring a whole new spectrum in our life; we can be affected emotionally as well as financially and my parents lived through it too. When they decided to move to the United States they left behind all they had built for 20 years, but at the time it was what they thought needed to do. It wasn’t long when they realized that they couldn’t make it here and went back to the island to begin all over again. Hard work and determination helped him build his business again, but by that time other big companies started to move in to the island and in the next 10 years the business began to decline. He concentrated in real estate then and with that he has been able to survive. What I want to say here is that we need to pay close attention to the trends and changes and continuously look for ways to put our energy and talents into something that will be of service to others. Do not keep looking at what you lost but look at what you have, what’s lost is lost and only looking forward you will be able to create something that will work and provide the necessary means to sustain yourself and your family.

Tell me your thoughts. What do you think these times are teaching you?





Happy Easter

12 04 2009

Happy Easter to all my Christians friends. Last night I went to Easter Vigil Mass and it was an experience. For one it was a trilingual Mass (English, Spanish, Creole) and we received seven more members into the fullness of our faith. The rituals brings all of this to life (Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion), it is a reminder of our own commitments. It is a joy to emerge from Lent into the Joy of Jesus Resurrection.

Today I will be cooking a special meal which was blessed at the church yesterday and with it enjoy the richness of gifts the Lord has bestowed upon us. It is hard for me to not have Josh with us but it is the way things are and will continue to be for a while. My son Erek served last night and it might be his last service during an Easter celebration since he also will be beginning on a new path in his life. I can not help but to feel a little sad as I see my work done but at the same time I feel proud that I have survived this stage of my life. There will be many more stages I need to experience and with it new joys and new challenges. Sometimes I feel I want to hang on to each moment like it is the last, and it is. But just like Jesus died, was buried and now is risen from the dead so are we to die to so many things that don’t let us be transformed into a new life in him.

May you have a blessed Easter with your family and friends. May we one day be united to him.
Alleluia!!!