Friday, May 28, 2010

Beautiful People ~ Beautiful Stories

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.”

Francois Muriac

It all started when I went back to school to get my high school diploma. I have met so many interesting people. I will never forget sitting in my all subjects class for the first time. There was a mix of ages; me being one of the oldest. We all had one thing in common, we needed to get our High School Diploma. One woman was older than my mom. I never learned of her story. Although, her just being there inspired me. There was another girl who walked in the class and I knew right off she was an exotic pole dancer; she had the prettiest arms, longest legs and knew how to walk across a room. I had her in my Algebra class too. It was interesting to watch the dynamics unfold when she didn't do her homework and an assignment was due. She never went to a female teacher, only the men. It broke my heart to think that she felt she only had her body to get what she wanted. One night she stormed out of class and I didn't even think before I realized I had started to follow her. I asked if I could talk with her and was surprised when she said, "Yes." In a nut shell, my talking to her boiled down to encouraging her not to give up. I learned she had two children and a boyfriend living with her. She quit three weeks before finals in our Fall semester. I learned through teachers, she would come at the beginning of every school year. I often wonder about what happened to her and hope she went back.

As the nights went on, students would share with one another in passing and I would learn bits and pieces of why we were all there (they learned more about me too). What happened in the past which lead us to the present circumstances. I had Gothic kids, ex-gang members and people who have lived on the street in all of my classes. By the end of the year, we understood each other in a way, we would have never had known if we just passed each other on the street (presumably making judgement calls too). We were all trying to find our way.

In my Phlebotomy class, we all got to know each other in the same way, in a more intimate setting. There were a lot of single mothers trying to learn a career in a short amount of time, so that they could take better care of themselves and their children financially. As the nights went on, we would learn more about each other in greater detail. We were all rooting for one another. I have kept in touch with three of the women.

In my Medical Terminology class, the first night we had to go around the room and say our name and tell the class why we were there. There was a woman in her sixty's who just lost her husband and said she needed to get a job to help herself financially. Another had a Jamaican accent who needed credits so that she could continue working for home care. I loved to listen to her try to talk so that we could understand her. Her name was beautiful, Mfonobong. I loved how it would just roll around on my tongue.

We live in a world surrounded by people and each person has a beautiful story. Everyone wants to know they matter and are worthy. If we look passed people who come into our lives, we miss the opportunity to learn and be enlightened by how they live and where they come from. It broadens the mind of what we think we believe and you learn from their experiences, enriching your life. At least... this was my experience.

Amazing stories... each one has left their mark on my heart forever!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Being Present ~

"Go out into the world today and love
the people you meet.
Let your presence
light new light
in the hearts of people."


Can you imagine?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change Can Be Wonderful ~

I recently rented the movie HOME and in the scene at the beginning of the movie, it showed the mother and daughter laying on the ground with a blanket (something my mom and I would do, but that is another post), looking up at the clouds having a conversation. It went like this:

Mom: I see a whale
Daughter: Where?
Mom: Right there look ~ it's tale is up and it has a spout.
Daughter: That's a teapot.
Mom: A teapot with an eye then.
Daughter: No, it has a flower painted on it. That's the flower part.
Daughter: Oh look! I see a barking dog!
Mom: Where?
Daughter: There!
Mom: Oh that's a good one!
Daughter: Aw mom look ~ he's changing. disappointed I think he's a lizard now.
Mom: Well the wind must be swirling. Look his tail is moving.
Daughter: I wish it would stay a dog.
Mom: Change is a part of life. Everything changes.
Daughter: I hate that! I am going to make it stay a dog.
Mom: You can't ~ look it's changing even now.
Daughter: In my mind I can.
Mom: Well, it might change into something wonderful and look! there your missing it... Oh, it's a knight in armour with a sword.
Daughter: No ~ he's still changing into a lizard.
Mom: Change can be wonderful.
Daughter: But it never is.

I admit it... I am one who has a hard time with change.

Life is ever changing. You can't get away from it. There will always be inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.

I have witnessed people who being resilient comes naturally and they are able to adapt to different environment's without any problem. I wish I had more of these qualities. It is something I am working on. It is a constant struggle, although there is progress.

Change promotes growth. Moving forward.

I have come to realize, I have to change the way I think about it. I don't want to miss it. How much have I missed?!

Change can be wonderful!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Reality Drama Show ~ Ha!

This picture is on our cafeteria bulletin board.

Scene one:

Our cafeteria serves two schools; an elementary (4th and 5th graders) and a Jr. High (6th through 8th grade). Periodically, both schools will use the cafeteria for testing, parties, assemblies, etc. Once in a while, both schools will want the cafeteria at the same time. How we handle this is on a "first come, first serve basis" to whomever reserves that particular time with us. Although once in a while the wires get crossed because someone (who oversees both schools), who doesn't check with everyone (without naming names to protect their identity and my job security). Tension arises between the teachers, and attitude you would never think they could possess, comes out; throwing assumptions of which activity is more important than the other and what they feel resides over the other. Let's just say... I am standing there shocked, trying to work it out between the teachers suggesting how it could be handled as far as scheduling recess, and break time. If mediation fails, I have to walk away and let them figure it out.

Scene 2:

During brunch break we serve only the 6th through 8th graders. On occasion we will have a fight break out. We have no supervision in the cafeteria itself; only out on the playgrounds. There are only three of us ladies in the kitchen part of the cafeteria serving the food. When calling the office, you have to press 9 then the office number. It is a process. Recently, we had one of those fights occur. It starts out with seeing the kids gather, then tighter and tighter with above normal talking that escalates into yelling, "Fight! Fight!" As we look out into the cafeteria, the kids are standing on the tables as they are trying to see the fight. Two of the ladies run out trying to get to the kids fighting and the third will call for help.

Scene 3:

Last week, as I was wrapping hamburgers for Ala cart, the secretary at the elementary school could be heard saying over the intercom, "Children, there are gophers out on the playground, Please leave them alone. Stay very far away from them!" Two minutes later, "Children, STEP AWAY FROM THE GOPHERS! LEAVE THEM ALONE. DO NOT TRY TO PLAY WITH THEM!"

Ohhh.... how I will miss the drama.

Five more days of school left!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Down To The Last Drop ~

My niece Alexis had her birthday in February and I promised her I would take her to Cold Stone Ice Cream. It turned out to be a long-awaited date with colds, appointments, my studies, class and work. On Friday we finally had our time together! I picked her up from school and off we went. As she told the young man behind the counter she wanted chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, gummy bears and caramel, we exchanged looks with raised eyebrows. I didn't know how she was going to get that down. Oh my goodness! I picked coffee ice cream, chocolate syrup and heath bar crumbles.

Have you ever watched a child eat ice cream? Or anyone for that matter? Everyone eats it differently. We all have our own style; fast or slow and savoring every last drop. It was sweet to watch my niece enjoy it as much as she did. Going to Cold Stone was my first time and I shared this with Lexi.

Alexis said, "Auntie-Tia, it is my first time too!"
I said, "Well Lexi, then this really was special, wasn't it?!"
She could barely look up as she kept her eyes in her cup, scraping every last drop and nodded yes.

After we had the ultimate ice cream experience we headed over to Borders Book store. We both picked out books and I also got her a sweet butterfly book marker. I learned something new about my niece. She loves to read! We will be sure to make some trips to the library and book store more often.

We had a wonderful time!

Isn't it always nice to spend time with children?

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Auction Cry ~

"Twenty dollar bid, now thirty, now thirty, will ya' give me thirty? No? Can I have a Twenty Five bid, now twenty five, will ya' give me twenty five? Going once, going twice. SOLD to #18!"

Charlie and I were strolling down Lighthouse avenue and came upon an auction. As we walked in to view the items, I couldn't believe my eyes as I looked at the room of maybe 45 people. If you have ever gone to an auction, the room is usually full and the odds are greater against getting what you want at a low price. I had to literally pick my jaw off the ground from watching items go for practically nothing. I watched some antique vases, china sets, tea sets, and tables go for as little as twenty five dollars. I wanted to be a part of this! My heart started pumping as the bid calling started. If any of you have gone to an auction, you will know what I am talking about. OH! and then to be caught in a bidding war... THAT is a rush! All is good, if you set a limit on what you are willing to spend on a particular item you have seen in the preview. You have to be sure to act so cool, no matter how much you are sweating. This is when you put your poker face on. Pffft ~ and I don't even know how to play poker. LOL!

I went up to the desk for information on future auction dates and learned they are every 3rd Saturday of the month.

Below, I took some pictures with my cell phone to show you some items that were sold at the auction.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Impulse Buying Here

I Wish ~ I Like ~ I Want ~ I'll Think About It ....

When Charlie and I were on our "spontaneous" day away, we went through one of my favorite garden shops. As we browsed through the garden shop, I would take pictures with my cell phone of things I wish I could put in my dream house by the beach. The rest of the pictures, I took because I like it and want to show my daughter, or things I want and want some time to think about it. I find it is safer for me that way.

Beautiful flowers that made me think of France and how my heart yearns to go there. This one probably falls under all four. I wish, I like, I want, I think about it.

I have a thing for the color green and birds. I wanted this ~ still do. I could see this in my family room where we all gather in the evening. I thought the price was a little steep and decided not to get it... I wish I would have. I am kicking myself. I should add "kicking myself" to my categories.

This is a Abutilon 'Tiger Eye.' I actually did get one (different than the one shown, mine is the one in the link) and will plant it next to my swing in the backyard in front of the iron trellis my dad made me. It comes in different colors and is a vigorous evergreen shrub that will grow 10'. Beautiful Chinese Lantern looking flowers! It also attracts hummingbirds!

I liked these rocks that were stacked on each other.

I wish I had my dream house by the beach, because this seahorse would be sitting in my yard.

I liked this needlepoint butterfly pillow. It has a cream colored crushed velvet backing. So pretty! I could see it on my burnt orange couch in the living room.

Now, I thought this was neat! It was short pieces of drift wood assembled somehow on top of each other and was about 6' long. I wish I had a beach house, because this would be hanging in my yard somewhere.

A close up of the hanging driftwood. This would be a fun project to do with those pieces of driftwood I bring home from the beach.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spontaneity ~

“The essence of pleasure is spontaneity”
Germaine Greer

It all started when Charlie approached me with a question, "Ange, I need some measurements at the beach house... do you want to go with me?" He suggested we make the most out of it and stay the night. We literally threw some clothes into a duffel bag and off we went! We left Saturday morning and came back in time to BBQ dinner with our kids on Sunday!

I can't believe I almost said "No," knowing everything that needed to be done. We needed groceries, clothes needed to be washed, and the yard needed some TLC. I haven't even started on what needed to be done inside the house. How could I go and spend basically a little over 24 hours by the coast with my best friend knowing everything that needed to be done? I am so glad I said, "YES! Why not!"

I have been busy playing catch up ever since, but it was well worth it!

It was nice to do something without all the planning, calculating and thinking about all the expectations that go along with premeditation of what was to come next. You're sure to have at least some of your expectations be unmet. With being spontaneous, you don't know what will come next. It was relaxed, natural, and laid back.

Being spontaneous is just what we needed!

Life shouldn't be scripted. Right?
Why not see where it goes ~


Friday, May 14, 2010

A Little Bit Of History ~

EST. 1851


One of the earlier gold rush buildings, and one of the last adobe structures left. This general store was established and operated by the Chinese from 1851 until 1926. Named after it's original owners Mow DA Sun and his son, Sun Row. This store was a major business in the area eventually branching out to Red Cloud about ten miles north - east of this building.
The original shelves and counters are still in the store, and there is evidence that part of the office was used as an opium den.
A dirt ceiling and the fireproof walls spared the building from the fires that razed Coulterville.

At the bottom of this post there is a video clip with one of the current owners. It will show you what it looks like inside of the building.

The town of Coulterville is also known to be a ghost town. I have to tell you, when we first drove into this particular town (without knowing about it being a "ghost town"), we stopped at the cemetery. I saw a huge statue of an angel towards the back of the cemetery I wanted to check out. I know, I know... some people think it is morbid to wander around a cemetery. I am obviously not one of those people. No one will accompany me except Wanda Mom (well... come to think about it more, maybe my mom and step dad on occasion.) on these little excursions; she would tell me stories about her and her best friend playing when they were little for hours in a cemetery they both lived close to. The day before she moved, we walked through the cemetery she played in when she was little and she pointed out where every story she told me took place.

Anyways, I am getting off of the subject. When I walked through this particular cemetery, I felt the heebie jeebies. The dogs were barking and there was a creepy man walking by that also gave me the wheelies (Sorry - nothing against men, there are creepy women too. I am being honest! Maybe I should have written creepy person...). Just a bad vibe all around! The older I get, the better I am at listening to my gut instinct! I couldn't get out of that cemetery fast enough and then I would not get out of the truck until we got into the next town.

I googled Sun Sun Wo grocery store because I wanted to know more about it. This is when I found out more about the history of the town Coulterville. I am glad I didn't see the "hang tree." Or then... maybe I did and just didn't know it was the infamous "Hang Tree." I love trees and take pictures of them all of the time! Trees are for children to climb, birds to build their nests and hang out in to sing a song. I just shudder thinking about it. I took the picture of the grocery store before we went to the cemetery. I found the history about Coulterville interesting and the looks of it charming... but I won't be going back any time soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

to wander away ~

we wandered the smiling and beautiful countryside that led us into the lush rolling hills. there was the unique smell of a storm in the air telling us it would arrive soon. we drove with no where to go and all day to get there; where ever the road took us.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Impact or Effect

Working with children first thing in the morning, it's easy to see how they are feeling and what their mood is like. They come in for breakfast, and I can tell if they are hungry (or not), sad, worried, happy or mad resulting from their home life, friends, or the people that are in their lives. The kids usually share with me what is going on, and why they are feeling the way they feel. I listen and sometimes I can give them advice; but mostly I listen and hope they know they are not alone and that they feel someone cares. From a greater extent, through what they share with me, I have learned that it's the smallest moments in life that have the biggest impact.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Day Celebration ~

I recently attended our 30th Annual May Day Celebration. This event started at five o'clock with food and root beer floats available. In addition, a silent auction was also going inside the cafeteria with decorated themed baskets to bid on. It was nice to see friends you haven't seen in a while and catch up on each others lives. Everyone looks forward in celebrating and supporting the children.

May Pole

Mag pipes ~ Amazing Grace

Flag Ceremony

La Raspa dancers

La Raspa dancers

Top of the May Pole

May Pole Dancers

Weaving the ribbon around the May Pole.

Beautiful ~