Thursday, August 30, 2007

~ The Heart of the Matter ~

Heart rocks found in the High Sierra's river

I have been married for .... hmmm, had to think there. It has been twenty-two years this coming February. On one hand, it seems like a very long time, and then on the other, I think... 'Where have the years gone?' It feels like it has gone way too fast. Early in our marriage, we had it rough. When we got together, he came out of a bad divorce, and had to learn how to trust again. I was alone and had a baby on my hip.... and also had to learn how to trust again. We went into our marriage with a lot of baggage. But, the one thing I learned around our eleventh year was when we fought, or argued about things, it was rarely what we were fighting about. Charlie and I started looking at what the heart of the matter was. For instance, if we had argued about time he or I was spending here or there. What we were really saying was, I miss you and I want to spend that time with you. We started learning what we were trying to say to each other (we were very young and what can I say ... dysfunctional). We have learned how to read between the lines and now, we can just know what we are feeling. Don't get me wrong, we still argue... but, we can totally start laughing at each other, or agree to just disagree. And we respect that. We will try to respect where the other is coming from and understand it, talk about it... and in the long run help each other grow in that area. And sometimes, we just don't agree! We have a right to our own opinion. I try to implement this into all of my relationships.

I always think of that song "The heart of the matter is forgiveness, forgiveness... " by Don Henley. That is a very good song.

The Heart Of The Matter

I got the call today, I didn't wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone
She said you found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And the struggles we went through
And how I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love's open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?

I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
...People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
The trust and self-assurance that can lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us,
Doesn't keep me warm

I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you, Baby
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I figured out, I have to learn again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But everything changes
And my friends seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down and hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; life goes on
You keep carrin' that anger, it'll eat you inside

I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh will get weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin' about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Robert Brant!

Rob here with his proud sister Diandra on his 8th birthday

When I was pregnant with my children, I was very careful of what I put into and on my body. I just suffered when I had a headache or a cold... I didn't take anything. I was pretty extreme. Every thing I did, was always putting them first. I can honestly still say that.
My pregnancy with my son Robert, was needless to say a lonely one. It was just me and him. My childhood sweetheart left me, and with time, so did my friends. My girlfriends could only do so much with a pregnant chicka. Looking back, it was only right, we were at different places in our lives. Although at the time, that ol' saying "you find out who your real friends are, when it gets tough" hit hard, I believe it also made me stronger.

I will never forget feeling my baby move inside me for the first time. I can still remember when I had the sonogram and could see what he was. I was thrilled! He was sucking his thumb and waving at me at the same time (
Strange, both Rob and Diandra did that, but never sucked on their thumbs when they were babies. They had a cousin that did all of the time, Diandra would just watch her, try it and gag. She didn't get it?!).

When I had Rob, I wanted to have him completely natural. It was a long labor. I felt him do a flip, and apparently he had the umbilical cord around his neck. I almost lost him. They ran me to the elevator, and were prepping me for surgery. I wasn't even under anesthesia when they cut me to get to him. I was in the hospital for a week. His biological father never even came to see him.

I would sing this song to him as I rocked him.

Que Sera Sera

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
I tell them tenderly.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

You may remember it,
Doris Day sang it.

Taken after his nap

The night before he went into the military, we went to a Chinese restaurant and this song came on. I had put on a brave face until that moment. I couldn't believe it! In a Chinese restaurant. This is my/his second birthday without him. Yes, I said my. I feel that my children's birthday is also a "birth of becoming a momma for me"... a day of celebration! I carried them inside me for nine months. They were/are a part of me.

Rob wanting to squirt me

Robert, you have taught me so much and helped me grow as a person. You taught me to be a mom. You are so giving, thoughtful, and caring. You have a sense of humor that won't quit. You make us laugh. I am so proud to be your momma. I feel like the world is a better place because you are in it.

This was taken after Diandra got Homecoming Queen her Sophomore year. He had braces on in this picture...

I know this to be true, I was put on this earth to have you and your sister.

Rob on a mission's trip in Mexico

This is Robert. He is serving in the military over in Kuwait.

Earth's shadow will creep across the moon's surface early today, slowly eclipsing it and turning it shades of orange and red.
The total lunar eclipse, the second this year, will be visible in North and South America, especially in the West. People in the Pacific islands, eastern Asia, Australia and new Zealand also will be able to view it if the sky is clear.

Rob and I share a love for the sun setting and sun rising. What the sky will show us every night. It comforts me to know that even if we are half a world apart in different countries... we will both see this on his birthday.

Happy Birthday Baby...

He is 23 today!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Image taken from google

I feel like I have been in the middle of a whirlwind, waiting for it to subside a little so that I can catch my breath. Hopefully this week, I will be able to do that. The last few days before school officially started, we had to go back and get the kitchen ready for the new school year. I have mentioned that there has been a lot of changes this year in the menu as well as with our faculty. We also need more bodies to cover stations... that means more hours for those that can cover it. That means ME!

There was also a day after work I had been needed to watch one of our grand babies. Which was really nice. Two of our older boys have a set of three kids each which makes it is hard to get some one on one time with them. Did I mention that we have another grand baby on the way? Speaking of babies, I also went to a baby shower yesterday celebrating the birth of my second cousin Sienna. She is beautiful just like her mama Sara.

Nessa came to stay with us last week. I am beaming. She was able to go on our evening walks with Diandra and me. We went to lunch at the Olive Garden with her Mom and sister, which was a treat. We also had a girl night out and went to see the movie No Reservation's (absolutely adorable), and then off to a favorite restaurant Diandra and I love called Mundo's, which serves Latin food. We sat by the pool, gave ourselves pedicures, made dinner's while we listened and danced to Nelly Furtado's CD Loose, did some shopping and watched movies that we had here at home. Nessa also tried to talk me into letting her take one of our girls (dogs)! She said with her beautiful smile and batting her long eyelashes, "You have so many of them, you could give me one!" I told her with a panic giggle, "It isn't happening..."

Diandra and I also got a postcard from Silvia better known as Sophia the Dreamergirl. That was a nice surprise. She is traveling Finland.

The postman was busy delivering to our house because Sheila from As Time Goes By, sent me a Journal I won on a draw that she got on a trip to Cuba. I call it my "Journey Journal" because of the distance it has traveled from Cuba to Canada, from Canada to Hughson, California in the United States. It is beautiful! And smells good too. Sheila explained to me that a lady she bought it from makes them herself. She makes the paper and binds it into books with banana leaves and then decorates them. I love it! Thank You Sheila!

The inside of the front cover. Sheila also tucked a postcard and a book marker from Cuba. You can read more about it here and here. Really very interesting!

To think if I didn't start my Blog back in January of this year, I wouldn't have met so many wonderful people from all over the world. I also understand that this is Blog's eighth year anniversary.... I just discovered it last year! Where have I been?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Taking Steps

There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.
Richard Bach
* I want to thank everyone who left a comment on my previous post. I sincerely appreciate it and hold your words close to my heart through this journey.
:) muah

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Phenomenal Woman

Vintage slip I bought at the Salvation Army

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.

I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou -

This poem was not about the men, but how I wish I could feel this confidence in myself: To know who I am; To be sure of myself; To accept myself and feel so comfortable in my skin.
I think over a period of time, the "World" tears you down with it's notions and misconceptions about who or what you should be, and through what you wear or look like. Society's goal seems to always make you feel self conscience of never measuring up.

I am not a size. I am me.

I am rising, and taking a stand to feel more like a Phenomenal Woman!

I wonder if I had felt more like a Phenomenal Woman and had been this kind of a role model for
my daughter, if she wouldn't have taken some of these misconceptions that were so ingrained in me. I know that I have a role in her eating disorder. I take responsibility for that. My wish for women, children and men is to feel comfortable in their own skin and to be who they are. Love themselves. Embrace your true self. You are just right! You are beautiful!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Mother's Advice

My mom is full of good advice, but there was one bit of advice she gave me that really made an impact. It was early in my marriage and Charlie and I were going through a rough patch. She knew I was at the end of my rope with him. She told me that marriage was not easy. It, in fact, would be one of the hardest things that I'd work on over a long period of my life, because it is ever-changing.

My mom told me to look at my marriage, if you will, like a garden. When it first starts, it is beautiful. You want to smell and admire every nook and corner.

Although, if you do not take care of your garden, it gets over grown with weeds and chokes out what you have planted. Weeds grow thickly where they are unwanted and choke out more desirable plants. You need to clear or remove weeds that become harmful to your garden. You need to get rid of these troublemakers. If you do not tend to it ...

You won't be able to admire the blooms...

You have to pull the dead blooms so that there will be new ones.

You may have to train vines to grow a certain way.

You would need to make sure that you fertilize to enrich your land.

Make sure there is adequate light for certain plants to grow or not to get burnt.

You would need to cultivate to encourage new growth or to improve and refine areas of your garden. And water just enough for proper growth. You water too much, it becomes waterlogged. Plants will become unmanageable or the roots will get rotten and you will lose what you have planted.

You would need to sow seed for new growth.

You would need to prune the unwanted parts so that areas would grow stronger.

You would have to use certain pesticide to get rid of unwanted pests safely.

I listen to my mom talk about this garden of marriage. We talked about how you can apply this to any relationship that you have. I have seen my mom work in her garden. She has come in with scrapes on her arms, dirt under her nails, sweat on her brow and sometimes out of breath. She has gotten up very early in the morning to tend to her garden by meeting the snails that would munch for breakfast. It is hard work. But when you've finished working, for the day, you can always sit in your garden and you appreciate the beauty in it so much more. Relationships of any kind do not come easy. You get out what you put into them.

I have told my children the advice my mom had given me.
Thank You Mom!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And the Winner is ...

Drum Roll Please ...



If you could e-mail me your address, I will mail your book to you. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I have enjoyed seeing hummingbirds on my walks and in photo's that some blogs I visit have posted. I bought myself a hummingbird feeder, and planted some flowers that they are known to be drawn towards. Going outside and sitting quietly, while they hum by, has been one of my favorite ways to pass the time. I have found it relaxing, and I am making this treasured time a staple in my day.

Okay ladies, I am sharing a skin care product with you that I just love. It is philosophy. I use the microdelivery peel twice a week (sometimes once). It is gentle, smells wonderful... and it makes your face feel like a babies bottom. :)

I use this every day, twice a day. I love, love, love hope in a tube. It is a high density eye and lip cream. I think that if someone told me "Angela, you can only use ONE thing. You have to choose." This would be it!
Come on ladies and uh, men (I know times have changed, it isn't just women!). What are some things that you couldn't do with out that is a part of your skin regimen? Let's share!

I won this book from the ever so lovely Mary (BeadFluff). She asked that when I got done reading it, that I would pass it on to someone else. I thought that I would do the same as she did and pass it to a fellow blogger or who comments on blogs. So! If you leave a comment here on this post, you have to say that you want the book. I will then draw out of a hat and let the blogger ville know who the winner is in my next post. Follow the directions.

I just liked this photo.

This bee is just hangin'.

I liked how you could see this bee's detailed wings.

I know that this is not a clear shot of this bee. I felt this little bee had an attitude, I could hear Robert De Niro's voice saying, "Are you looking at me?"

I liked how you could see the shadow of this dragonfly? on the leaf.

School has started back here in Hughson, which means that I am back at work. I am trying to get back in the groove of a working atmosphere with a lot of women (in the kitchen... giggle). There have been so many changes; it has our heads spinning. We have a new site supervisor (our Billie retired this last year) and also a Food service rep. As they say "There is a new sheriff in town!" It is a little stressful and will take some time to iron out the wrinkles. I hope that it won't take too long. All of the ladies don't do really well with change, including myself.
They also say that "change is good," ... I am trying to keep that in mind.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Old Churches

I have always loved old churches and stopped to take some pictures of two on one of my recent trips to Monterey that I have admired for some time now. The churches below are in a little town called Pacific Grove.

This is the Pacific Grove
Heritage House
St. Mary's
By the Sea
built in 1887

I do not have any information on this church, but I love how it resembles a castle.

May peace be with you

Saturday, August 11, 2007


My Neighbor Ruth across the street has this bush that blooms some beautiful flowers. They are humongous! They are interesting to watch. They come to bloom and then that is it. The next day they are gone. I met her in the street after getting our mail, and asked her what kind of flower bush that was. She told me it was a Hardy Perennial Hibiscus. They are a exotic, hardy, shrub like plant. They have 6-10" blooms in crimson red or rose pink dazzle from midsummer to frost. The bush grows 3-5' tall with similar spread.

Ruth is an 82 year old active woman who exercises everyday, bowls twice a week, and rides her bike on occasion. She's very involved in church. I can look out my window and I will see her pulling weeds in her big hat and long sleeve shirt to protect her from the sun.

My husband loves her and I have to say between the two of us, he has more of a friendship with her than I do. I don't know how many times I have went to see what is taking my husband so long to come in to find him sitting outside with her in a deep conversation. I will just watch to see them start busting up laughing. She goes out to dinner with us and we have plans to have dinner here at our home. We share our meals with each other when we have both made to much or want the other to try something new. Recently in one of our conversations about this and that she mentioned to me that Charlie needs to rest from work. Ruth sees for herself how Charlie will busy himself even on his days off. She will hear me get on to him, and knows what I am up against. She will often chime in to my defense. Charlie will then say, "Ruth! Are you ganging up on me?" She will giggle. She cares about him as much as he cares about her. Flowers aren't the only thing that's blooming!