May 31, 2012

I'm a Slow Runner.

 When I was younger .. I flattered myself into thinking I ran fast, granted I could play tag with my boy cousins and give them a good run; I enjoyed it. 

 Apparently though, as I've aged (yeah, soo much, stop teasing.) I've grown slower. How do I know? I've been tagged. Again. I was tagged last Friday by The Mommy Rant, and yesterday Judy tagged me again. 

So .... 

First I shall indulge in talking about myself. Then I shall answer the questions asked me. Then name five people to do likewise.. and proceed to ask them eleven questions. Ready?


1. I think of myself as shy. Deep inside I have a suspicion that people wish I were. 

2. It takes really little to amuse me. Sing a chorus of Cotton Eyed Joe and I might die. Especially if I'm in a situation I know I shouldn't laugh. Such as up front. In church. Leading a meeting. Cross your eyes at me for a split second, and I'll lose it.


3. I've collected numerous things throughout my life. Most of them are quite ridiculous so don't even ask why because I have no idea... Don't believe me? Ok, I'll give you a few: Rocks; clothing tags; bags from clothes stores (AE, Roots, Garage, H&M, UB, vs. the plastic grocery store variety); stickers; comic books; plastic "Barbie" dogs, cats, horses; feathers; keychains; notebooks.. actually I still collect the last one.

4. I smell like AE's Crush Fragrance for Her. It was a gift from my parents and one of the few perfumes I can stand to wear on a daily bases without becoming nauseated. 

5. If I take long naps in the afternoon, eight out of ten times I will wake up grumpy and cranky instead of well rested. 

6. I stapled my finger once. (Running out of things to say. Sorry 'bout that.) 

7. I fainted in a store once. .. yeah. That was embarrassing. Something about a drastic change of temperature from -13ºC in Canada to 37ºC in Brazil, skipping breakfast, and walking around shopping all morning. Not recommended.

8. I play coward and when we move, I don't want to go back to the place we're moving away from. It'll be too different; it will have moved on; I rather remember it how it was. Like I said, Coward.

9. I think freckles are pretty. 

10. Getting in the ocean scares me when I think about it. When I'm actually there I can't resist and get in anyway. Deeper...deeper. And then I remember and get all scared and go back to building sandcastles.

11. If you were to watch me write a blog post, I guarantee it would drive you to madness. I flip from tab to tab constantly. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Youtube, then I flip back to my post and edit one adjective or add a sentence or word or two. Repeat. 

Phew, ok, now to answer thine questions: 

1.  Dogs or cats or neither?
Dogs. Dogs. Dogs. Puppies. Dogs. Dogs. Dogs. 

2.  Your favorite holiday and why (besides Christmas)?
Thanksgiving. I love the food, love the reason we come together, love the reminders, love the feeling of peacefully settling in for another winter. 

3.  What is the greatest life lesson you've learned so far?
Life lesson? Um .. ooof... "Be yourself, everybody's already taken." (Oscar Wilde) Trite? Yes, but I feel that it ties in a lot more than what it seems. If you believe in something show it. If you like something stick to it. Quit pretending and feigning, people can tell when you are and it's lame. Think for yourself, and be ok with it when people don't agree with you. Don't stick to an argument when you realize you're wrong. Admit it. It's ok. It doesn't make you smaller; it makes you grow.

4.  Is it easy for you to say "I'm sorry"??
Are depends a valid answer? Depends what I did and to whom. Ironically, it's easier for me to apologize to strangers than to those closest to me.

5.  What is the one place in the U.S. that you have always wanted to visit?  Why?
The Grand Canyon, and the American Girl's store in Boston. Both are childhood dreams that are on the bucket list. Do you really need me to explain the awesomeness of these places to you?

6.  How do you deal with anger?
Like most women. Bottled up inside until one day, boom Pompeii and a whole lot of tears. Then I move on three seconds after the explosion, like nothing ever happened. I don't understand it either. 

7.  Comedies or dramas?   Favorite?
Comedies! Favorite comedy? None come to mind right now but I love a good laugh with clean humor. Something that brings me to tears, but that I can share with Victor and won't make me uncomfortable sharing with adults either. Like I said, it doesn't take much to amuse me, but I don't like stifling giggles because of the inappropriateness of a joke.

8.  When was the last time you laughed out loud? 
This morning? This afternoon? A couple hours ago? I've laughed out loud today.
 
9.  Are you who you want to be?  Anything you would change about yourself?
In a way yes, but I believe we can always improve upon ourselves. There are definitely things I would change, and I don't believe I'll ever be satisfied and come to a point that I wouldn't change a thing. But I'm happy with who I am right now, where I'm headed and who I strive to be. I'm not unhappy or disappointed, just comfortable with saying there are areas in which I want to improve. If we didn't have those areas, where would the fun lie?

10. Do you have a hero?   Who is it?  Why?
Many. My parents, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, and all those out there leading their lives and their struggles without any recognition.
11. Have you ever lied about your age or weight?  In what circumstance?
*sigh* A kid asked me in a room full of people, how much I weighed. I was on vacation and hadn't weighed in about three or four weeks. I'm pretty sure I had gained weight, but I told him the weight my scale at home had said. Does that count? If not then never.

Allrighty-O! Five people I shall tag:






Guidelines- In a post:
Tell us eleven things about yourself.
Answer the eleven questions I'll post below. 
Choose eleven (I just chose five) people to tag. (No retags) 
Ask them eleven questions.

I've tagged different people this time, so I'm asking almost the same eleven questions as last time. I'm positive you will each have different answers:
  1. What is your "go-to" dish. The one that springs to mind when someone asks you to bring something to a potluck, or a party, or place where people will be gathered to eat. Your food.
  2. Have you ever broken a pencil in two?
  3. Sweet or salty (food).
  4. What was one gift that someone gave you that you will always remember? (Doesn't have to be one you liked. A memorable one.)
  5. What is your favorite blog post.
  6. What annoys you?
  7. What makes you happy?
  8. Truth or Dare? ("Depends" is not an option.)
  9. Did you collect anything as a kid?
  10. Bath or Shower? ("Depends" is not an option.)
  11. Would you ever use gel pens? Sparkly ones. 

May 29, 2012

How...?

Almost every blog I've read has done a "How did you get here" post. I've managed to hoard a couple intriguing search results that have led to Papa is a Preacher, and finally gathered enough for a post of sorts.



  • Good future with paper boat - [I suppose if you're an ant in Alice's tear pool you might have a good future with a paper boat?]



  • Should preachers be hoarders? - [Well now, let's not get too controversial shall we!]



  • blogspot.com family pics - [These searches always creep me out.]



  • rain boots for short people - [I don't even .. what?]



  • pretend i don't see you - [Ok, but shhhh!]

  • la chilindrina - [Apparently that's another (just as different) name for Chiquinha mentioned in this post.]

  • Doc Marten sandals comeback - [Oh dear heavens, I hope not.]

  • كه ره بابى شامى - [I have no idea what that really means, but according to google translate it means, "Bobby, who intercepted a dinner." Rude Bobby. Very rude!

  • Papa is a Preacher - Book Cover - [Glimpse into the future? Am I really destined to become "one of those blogs turned book" authors? I'm not sure I'd be complaining.]

  • My baby bedding shop - [Please reword that. . it sounds kind of... not good.]

  • Preacher Lego - [I wonder if they make those..they have them for almost all professions, I wouldn't be surprised.]

Any out of the ordinary searches on your blog lately?


May 28, 2012

Object Silliness.

 You guuuysss! (Sorry .. I've always wanted to write that. I actually hate reading it, because it sounds whiny, but I wanted to write it once to see what it felt like...) Anyways.. that was that, now onto Object Sillies!


The heater .. yeah.. it's creeping me out too, especially the red mouth...


During reading buddy the other week, we were reading a book about seagulls and their "human parents" .. all I noticed was that the grass looked miserable...I don't think they enjoy being stepped on very much.


Here's one you have in your home .. beware! They're staring at you! Speaking of staring at you, does anybody else get creeped out by dolls, stuffed animals or photographs on their dressers or walls? I don't really like having them in my room; they kind of creep me out. Especially because it doesn't matter what angle you stand, their eyes always! follow you.


This one is my absolute favorite. It's on the oven door ... and I think it's quite overenthusiastic about my cooking endeavors.. still, it's nice to see such excitement!

Can you see it? Rudolph?

For now, those are the only ones I've been able to capture. (: 

Stay Silly, and Happy Monday!

Incidentally, here are a couple more things I've always wanted to say: 


"What's up with that?!" 


"I ain't down with that."


"I'm down with that." 


"Fshizzle."


"Bazinga!"


"I've been expecting you."

"What's up, Doc?" 


"Oh, sure! Of course I'll sign my book for you, what would you like it to say?"


What's something you've always wanted to say?

May 25, 2012

Tag. I'm It.

Apparently, I've been tagged by, The Mommy Rant. I'm not exactly positive what's supposed to happen now, but I'll try to wing it. 


First, I must give you eleven things about me. You probably wouldn't have asked, but hey, that never stopped me before. 


1. You have no idea how happy it makes me when this arrives:


2. Sometimes I want to give the Purolator guy and the UPS lady, cakes, muffins, stir-fry, food and big fat hugs. But sometimes I wonder if they would eat it. I wouldn't. I'd be a little creeped out at the girl in pigtail braids who does a weird happy dance and shoves food at me every time she sees me. 


3. I can't control everything. Did you know that? I can't. 


4. Every time we make plans, I fall for it and get all happy and excited. When things don't happen according to plan, I vow to never get my hopes up again, doesn't work. Ever.


5. I have cold feet. Ridiculously cold feet, and sometimes hands as well. My parents call them corpse hands/feet. Very nice simile, isn't it? 


6. You know how a puppy wiggles when it's happy? Yeah .. I do that too. 


7. I'm a bit impatient, irrational, and I have a tendency to leave people confused. 


8. I have a short attention span which means when I'm talking to you it sounds like this:
"And then we were talking and she said she'd- OH! Did I tell you about how the dog jumped over the bucket and by the way I saw this cute little dress on that shop on that street with the purple house, which I'm sure is where that dude with the five dogs lives. Did you know that Caligula had his horse become part of the senate?" Can you understand why I have a tendency to leave people confused?


9. If I like you. I will like you a lot. If I dislike you, I will really dislike you. 


10. I'd rather you tell me I'm driving you crazy, I'm making you angry, or that I'm making you happy, that I'm doing something wrong, than to tell me nothing at all. Also, linked to that, I need to express my feeling, but I can only do that if you express yours. If you bottle up your feelings, I'll bottle up mine. 


11. If you doubt me, I might  doubt me too. If you believe in me, I might believe in me too. 


And now I get to answer questions you did ask. 


1. Why did you start a blog?
Well I do believe I've answered that in this post here. . .something to do with the youngest member of our family. 

2. What have you learned about yourself from blogging?

That I am a master at making up excuses for not doing things I should, like writing, yet I'm pretty certain I already knew that...Mostly, that if I put my head to it, I can write, if I dare call it that.

3. How do you blog and still get things done around your house?

When I do, it's because I wake up early. Sometimes (oftentimes) it takes a whole day to write a post because I keep coming back and editing, and adding bits and pieces. Sometimes (oftentimes) I just sit and write off a post, edit it a couple of times and press the publish post.

4. Why is blogging better than Facebook?

Because people who are interested read, and I'm not clogging up people's news feeds with huge texts. (Just blog promoting links .. hehe the irony.) 

5. What is the last book you read?

That I finished? I'm not sure.. was it Tina's autobiography? I'm currently reading four, including, Alice in Wonderland. 

6. What is the last live performance you saw?

Live performance? Uh ... ask me that in about a week after Victor's recital.

7. What is your favorite children's book?

Aw man! Come on! Just one? The Amelia Bedelia series, Hank the Cowdog. .. and so many others I can't remember.

8. What is your favorite typeface?

Typeface? Like font? I'm not sure ... Helvetica, Sofia, Abraham Lincoln ... 

9. Would you ever put your cat on a leash?

I'm not sure I would ever own a cat.

10. Who would play you in the movie version of your life?

Me! me! me! oh pick me!

11. Love the tourists or can't wait for them to leave?

Am the tourist. (: 


So now I tag eleven other blogs. . but I'll be rebellious and pick five, and ask them eleven questions.


1. Journey of Life


2.  Life and Writings of Sleepy Joe


3. Mama Diaries


4. These Three Girlies


5. A Life List



  • What is your favorite book?
  • Favorite color?
  • Sweet or salty (food).
  • What was one gift that someone gave you that you will always remember? (Doesn't have to be one you liked. A memorable one.)
  • What is your favorite blog post.
  • What annoys you?
  • What makes you happy?
  • Truth or Dare? ("Depends" is not an option.)
  • Did you collect anything as a kid?
  • Bath or Shower? ("Depends" is not an option.)
  • Would you ever use gel pens? Sparkly ones. 

I think that's it for now .. Have a great weekend everyone! 






May 22, 2012

May TidBits.

 I had good intentions today, really. I was going to write about Wendy Watts, and how she's a little crazy. She's like a cross between Miss Frizzle and her pet, Liz. I was going to write about her fire red hair that is never obedient, about her quirky personality, her iconic full white skirt and beaded jewelry, each bead having a story to tell. But I can't, because although I decided that 19ºC is absolute spring and summer weather, apparently I forgot to inform body. Therefore, body decided that getting out of the pool, skipping a shower, wrapping myself in towels, and driving home for a shower in 19º is oh so perfect weather for getting an ear ache. So, please put up with me for a while longer and enjoy, May TidBits:

If I ever write a memoir, it'll be called, "Larissa L. Tenorio and Her Big Fat Mouth."
I'm pretty convinced my life would be different if I knew how to keep quiet.


Cleaning/Cooking days (Fridays) are great, 'cause I end up finding a bunch of things I hadn't seen since I lost them on Monday. The bad part about Fridays, is that I end up eating way too much food.


Anybody else ever sometimes want to give it all up and become the dog version of a cat lady?


@AdvicetoWriters "Be yourself and your readers will follow you anywhere. Try to commit an act of writing and they will jump overboard to get away." WM ZINSSER

"Epiphany" is actually a really fun word to say. Epiphany. Epiphany. Epiphany.


 Victor is going through his stamps and looking them up in his catalogue. "What kind of stamp is this? It has no face value!" "Well maybe it has butt value." I answer. I crack myself up sometimes. My mother had a friend (that I never met), who used to tell jokes and then ask, "Aren't I funny?!" Yeah, sometimes I wonder if it's possible to inherit traits from your mother's friends, (that you've never met). 


Wore my cowboy boots today. (: Finally. 
Say it with me ... "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the girl."


I actually find it giggle worthy when Facebook recommends Paris located pages because I have my location as Paris, France. Tricked Ya! Takes so little to amuse me.


Listening to Battistelli's A Hundred More Years and Victor goes "Oh goodness, how many centuries are you going to live lady?" His logic..


"Get in a lot of trouble with that big mouth of yours?" 
"No, I just had to learn to apologize a lot..." - Sophie


Love it when my Physics textbook deviates from technical language:






And two more things: 


I just made my first bunt cake..I haven't flipped it yet, so wish me luck! So far it hasn't burnt or exploded or anything. So, so far so good. It's cooling outside now, so I'm crossing my fingers hoping no wild and ferocious animal has gotten in it (actually, if an animal did get in it, let's hope that it was a wild and ferocious one as opposed to a tame one that I could possibly get my hands on), and that it flips over nicely. It should! Boy did I grease and flower that pan!


And now, most importantly, Victor's birthday is tomorrow! My widdle baby brother is going to be eleven! Oh I just might start bawling already!

May 20, 2012

An Interview with Agápe Bridal.

 Agápe Bridal. Agápe. Hum. What does that mean? How do you pronounce it? The dresses on the front window are stunning. The store is beautiful and smells brand new. Dresses are hung neatly in racks and the wooden floor is gleaming. As I open the door and walk in, the woman behind the beautiful granite counter smiles. Her name is Sue. She co-owns Agápe Bridal with her daughter, Amber. We sit down and our interview is soon underway.

 PP - Was owning a bridal shop a dream you've had, or how did it come to be/ how did you get here?

AB - No, actually; I have three daughters; two of them are married, and neither of them had good experiences with their gowns, and fittings... So one day we were all sitting together and thought, you know, "There's got to be a better way to do bridal!" So, we thought, we can do this! Three months later, here we were!

PP - Was there any schooling you felt helped you all get started?

AB - Well, I had been a pastor for twenty-five years and my daughter is a nurse, so I think that our background in counseling and personal service really helped out. It's amazing how counseling training can really help out in bridal! So many young women come in here with, you know, body issues, insecurities, and oftentimes talking to them, and counseling helps out.

PP - Did anyone influence you in your decision to start your own business/ open Agápe Bridal?

AB - My daughters were a big influence, and friends were supportive and kept saying we could do it.

PP - Are you originally form Abbotsford?

AB - No, we're from Surrey, from Surrey we moved to Langley and from Langley to Abbotsford.

PP - When did Agápe open?

AB - We opened on December 1, 2011, so we're just working on our first six months now.

PP - When we walk into a store we see that people are busy, but at the same time, we only see a fraction of what really goes on in owning a business. So what's a normal day around here like for you as the business owner?

AB - Well, I come in in the morning, I turn on all the lights, sweep the floor, wipe the windows, dust, check the phones to see if they're working, check and respond to e-mails, check up on deliveries, unpack orders, order inventory, serve customers, there's always something.

PP - What's the best part of working at a bridal shop?

AB - Making a client happy. Seeing a girl walk out of here with her prom dress, or graduating dress, or a bride with her perfect wedding dress, and being a part of their special days like that.

PP - And the worst part?

AB - Steaming gowns? [laughs] Unhappy customers that come in here unhappy already and no matter what you do they won't be satisfied. You end up realizing that it's not the dress it's something else that's bothering them, personal problems that are making them unhappy. When you have the time, you know, you ask them what's really going on and many times they'll have a nervous breakdown and unload everything on you, so sometimes that's not so fun.

PP - What's an advice/tip something that you wish you had known before you went into business?

AB - I wish we had gotten more leasing information. We probably could have gotten much more money for store improvement if we had gotten more information on the leasing.

PP - What's your favorite part about the store and everything in it.

AB - I love the headpieces and accessories. I just love shopping for accessories! I love all things sparkly, and we've got some amazing wedding dresses as well with some gorgeous fabrics. That's one of the things we love here at Agápe, good fabrics.

PP - Do you have any new features or dresses coming in? Any new projects?

AB - Well, my daughter and I will be going down to the States for the Enzoani  event. It's a trunk show/conference/ buying trip, so we'll come back with some new gowns and we're excited about that.

PP - How is Agápe pronounced and what does it mean?
AB - [laughs] We often have people ask us that. It's pronounced "a-gah-pé".When my daughter and I were thinking of names we thought of Agápe, because it means "unconstitutional, never-ending love." So to us it's a constant reminder of God's love for us and how eternal and deep it is. So when we're having a rough day, we remember, Agápe.

PP - Thank you very much, Sue, for your time and answers.

You can read more about Sue and her daughter on their website, and like them on Facebook!


May 17, 2012

An Interview With Paper Nation.

 The soft baby blue, the thick journals with luxurious covers, the stationary and vintage furniture beckoned me to go into the store. I walk in and immediately feel like I've walked into a place that Style Me Pretty would approve of. He turns at the sound of the door opening, and greets me with a friendly smile. Today, I am interviewing Brian from Paper Nation.

 He finishes serving the customer and their familiar chatter comes to a close. After hello's are said,  he refills his coffee cup, we sit down, and the interview begins.

PP - Last week, when we set up the interview, you asked what it would be about, and I said it would mostly be about how did everything come together, so today's first question would be, How did Paper Nation come about?

Brian - Well, I come from a retail background; I had left it for a little while, but I knew that I wanted to  eventually open up my own shop. How the idea for Paper Nation came about, was when I was getting married. I couldn't find any, 5x5 envelopes, and so, the idea kind of evolved from that.

PP - Was there any schooling that you felt helped get the business started?

Brian - Yeah, definitely the self employment program that I took, SEEDS; it was for three months, and it was funded through the ministry of Housing and Development, so people could collect employment insurance, while they were going through the program and through the first forty weeks of their business. So that really helped the business get off the ground. Plus it gave me the tools and resources I needed to avoid all the typical pratfalls. So, I mean, education always helps. It's a good thing, and I think it can often mean the difference between success and failure, especially when taking on a venture like this, which is a big one. [laughs]

PP - Did anyone influence you? In your decision to start your own business?

Brian - Well, I do come from a family of entrepreneurs. My dad and my older sister and older brother are also all small business people, and always have been. So I guess it was only a matter of time before I got into it too. But yeah, they're pretty much my mentors and heroes. They provided a lot of support and assistance. I find that small business owners speak a language that others who aren't entrepreneurs don't speak, so there's camaraderie there with all the business owners in this area which helps a lot.

PP - Does your family live in Abbotsford, then? Are you from Abbotsford?

Brian - Not originally, no. I'm from Winnipeg. My immediate family are all back there. I moved to Vancouver and lived there from '96 to about two years ago. So, I've been in BC for a long time, but new to Abbotsford. My in-laws live in Abbotsford, though, so I was familiar with it for a while.

PP - So it hasn't been too long since you've moved to Abbotsford, when did Paper Nation open?

Brian - Paper Nation opened on 10/10/10. So it's been about a year and..seven months?

PP - And counting!

Brian - And counting, yes!

PP - What's a normal day around here, like?

Brian - Oh my goodness. Well, the list seems to get longer and never shorter. There's always a million things to do, because not only am I a small business owner, I'm also pretty much the sole employer here. So I'm not only working in my business, but I'm also working on my business. I'm helping customers, but I'm also working on my business, ordering products, marketing, financials, inventory. So the store is not only my retail store, but also my office. But the customers always come first, and it's important to me to have a sense of community and belonging.

PP - Speaking of the store, I really really loved the design and colors! Did you do all this or did you have someone come in and help?

Brian - Why thank you! I chose the color. The branding, I worked with a graphic designer. Branding to me is very important because I would like to eventually see this business grow. Either a Canada wide chain of really unique boutique paper crafting stores, or paper stores. So it's important to me that if you want to be that, you need to act like that kind of company right now.

PP - Why the name "Paper Nation".

Brian - Well, we had a Facebook contest to name our store. A friend and I were going through the name entries when she said, "Paper Nation" and I thought, "That's the one." We still went through all the other entries but in the back of my mind I knew that was it. I loved it because the word "nation" is all inclusive and would work great with all the papers that I would bring in from different countries.

PP - What would you say is the best part of your job?

Brian - Definitely the customers. The people, the stories that they feel comfortable to share with me. They come in and say, you know, "Oh I'm doing a card for my son's birthday" and then we get to hear about that. So the community and the people.

PP - And the worst part?

Brian - Everything else? [laughs] No .. One of my teachers, had written a book using the metaphor of giving birth to a baby to starting a business. It really takes up 24/7 of your time and thought and emotion. So life is unbalanced, the first two years, three years, four years, I don't know how long. It is a pouring in of heart and soul. I basically go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it. It's a labor of love.

PP - So what's an advice or tip that you wish someone had told you when you were starting out. I mean, no matter how many people you know, and how much they tell you, there's always something that you have to learn on your own.

Brian and his dad's purses in the background.
Brian - Yeah! You know what, I think that as much preparation as someone could have, there are always going to be blind sides. You're always going to be blindsided no matter how much preparation you do. And that's just the nature of taking on a monumental project like this. So I'd say prepare, and educate yourself. Also to make sure you don't start off undercapitalized, with too little money or products, because afterwards catching up is virtually impossible. That's what happened to us, and now we're constantly trying to play catchup.

PP - Do you have a favorite product in the store?

Brian - Well I really love all the local handmade stuff. But I also really really love pretty paper. But I'll say my dad's purses. He makes handmade purses, and although we're a paper shop, we also sell gifts and things like these.

PP - Are you planning any new releases or products?

Brian - We have new products coming in every month or so.

PP - Thank you very much for your time and answers!

You can find, and follow, Paper Nation on Facebook, or subscribe to their newsletter on the site!


WhatstheWord

May 16, 2012

Project Interview.

 I'm going to tell you a little something, just in case you missed our  Introduction post. As soon as this senior year of high school is over, I plan on studying Communications. So this summer, I've decided to continue last summer's "Project Interview" with a new spin. Instead of interviewing local people, I plan on interviewing local business owners.

 Last week, I set up two interviews for this afternoon, and while Victor was waiting for his violin classes, I had the opportunity to interview two super friendly and helpful people. This evening I'll be editing and the interviews should be posted soon.

For now, Good Night y'all!



WhatstheWord

May 15, 2012

Thumbs Down. Thumbs Up.

 I keep seeing articles on "Greece's Economy" on the news. The wonderfully compassionate part of me has devised a plan to help them out ... I believe we should all just drop everything and go to Greece for two weeks. On vacation. Just two weeks, you know, because we have lives and everything and can't just live to help European economy. (Pure heart, aren't I.) Wanna come with? Anyways, it's about time for a Thumbs Down. Thumbs Up. post again!


  •  Stomach growls. My stomach is a brat. It's used to snacks, and when it doesn't get anything, it growls at me. This behavior only makes me stand my ground. Must. Not. Reward. Bratty. Behavior. 
  • First round of tests for my senior year. No.. see, I can't. Greece really needs me to help her out.. It's not like I don't want to take more tests or anything..but I have to support my friends!
  • Being afraid of taking my driving test again. Yeah, I failed it the first time, and I'm not so excited about going through one more road test.. Again, Greece needs me.
  • Water in my ear. Went swimming yesterday, can't get the water out of my ear. It's stubborn like that.
  • Distance. Between continents and countries and people.
  • Not finding the "perfect" spot for another And the Wind Blew Her Hair post.


  • The two pounds I got rid of in a week, for drowning out stomach growls with water.
  • Back to swimming. It feels good even if I'm not swimming as far as I did at the end of last season. I took a long break, and I expected it to be worse, but it was actually quite fun. 
  • The sunshine!!! Oh the lovely sunshine!!!
  • Crossing off books from my book-list. I honestly feel like each book is a big satisfying accomplishment. Really. 
  • Recitals. Victor has a violin recital in about a month..he's really excited. 
  • Glasses. Of course!
  • Greece. For neeeding me. 
  • Humphrey Bogart. 
  • All this spring talk of graduation. Makes me excited. 
And that's life for you ... 


May 14, 2012

Xander Xavier.


This post is the first in my Z-A challenge. Read 'bout that here.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in these posts are views of the letters involved. Not of the writer herself.

 Xander [ks-ander] strolls into the lobby of his work building. He smiles, waves at the receptionist and adjusts his loose grip on his bag. Xander pushes the button for the elevator and hums a random little tune while opening his water bottle. He takes a sip and the elevator door opens. 

 He walks in and as the door opens on the second floor, a friend walks in. They immediately begin an easy going conversation and smiles are exchanged as the door opens again on the fifth floor. As the elevator door opens on the tenth floor, laughter spills out and five or so coworkers get off and disperse. 

 This is Xander's morning ritual. He's easygoing and people enjoy being around him very much. He's lively and succeeds in putting everyone in a good mood. Xander is the guy who makes everyone feel at home at a party. He draws everyone into a conversation and if you need a favor, Xander's your man.

 Xander's spends much of his time with friends and colleagues, and most of the time, they're spending time outdoors. Him and his posse frequently bike, portage, hike, white water raft, and travel. Some summers they make a party out of it and rent a couple of cabins at a lake somewhere, rent a boat and everyone's invited for a weekend of tubing, water skiing, and relaxation.

 He's the life of the party, but completely unassuming. Xander's can spend the weekend away, but deep down he's a softie for family. On weekdays, he's at home in time for dinner, and if not he calls to let mom know. He makes it to his brother's soccer games and to his sister's recitals too. He helps dad fix the car and grandmother and grandfather get goodbye kisses. Xander's family is Latina, and we're affectionate like that.*

 Xander loves good food, but he's pretty picky too. His mother spoiled him. 

 If you say black olives, onions, pears or green peppers Xander might look at you funny.

  
*Why yes, I did just quote J.Lo. 
 

May 13, 2012

Today We Had a Picnic.

If you're looking for a written Mother's Day post .. click here.








And for this, I am thankful.






I chose a spot, lay down, and like any responsible Brazilian, I took advantage of today's gorgeous sun, and tanned. 
This was my view.



I grew rather fond of it. 

Hope your days was at least half as wonderful .. and Happy Belated Mother's Day.

May 12, 2012

Follow Your Heart?

 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
 I suppose no one ever really arrives at a point where they know exactly what they want, how they're going to get it, and when, for every aspect of their lives. But in your teenage years and early adulthood, it's to be expected to not know what you're going to do, where you're going to go, how, or when.

 Occasionally I will get phone a call from friends with more or less these questions. "What now?" So many times it'd be easier to give an answer that I've heard often, have read often, and even have been told often.

"Follow your heart"

   It's short to say, common enough, gives the person the responsibility of figuring out what it is their heart is saying, and you will seem like a good enough friend.

 But think about it. Do I really want to give someone this advice?  Do I want to take this advice?

 What is my heart full of? What is your heart full of? How could I know? What if our hearts are full of evil and sin? Wait a minute. "What if?" Aren't they?

 The Bible tells us that "The heart is deceitful above all things.." To follow our hearts, would be dangerous. No matter what we think, we really don't know what's best for us. We don't really know which path will make us happier.

 Our hearts' desire changes; it's rarely stable. If we follow it, we will end up meandering and walking in circles. I don't want to waste my time walking in circles; I don't want you to waste your time walking in circles.
 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6
 God's will for us never changes; it is stable. If we follow His plans for us, we will find our life's path so fulfilling and happy. God doesn't promise an easy life here on earth, but He promises to guide us, and be there for us if we allow Him to.

 Isn't that so much more reliable advice? Isn't His wisdom much more steadfast, and aren't His plans much more sure?

"And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."
 - Jeremiah 29:13

 If we search for Him, if we search for His will, He won't leave us guessing. His plans for each of us are different. Not all of us are meant to serve in the same way. Following His will doesn't mean we all will become full-time missionaries to foreign countries. He needs doctors, nurses, bankers, writers, readers, helpers, followers, leaders. 

 Whatever it is that He has in store for me and for you, is what will make us happy. Have you found out what that is yet?

P.S. Photos of Victor and I wearing glasses are up on the Facebook page!

May 11, 2012

My First Specs.

 Did you know that while driving down the street, if you look at the trees on the sidewalk (well not on but you know what I mean..right?) you can actually see the tree bark?!

 Did you know that if you look at the people on the sidewalk, you can totally make out their faces, and what their t-shirt says?

 Did you know that this whole wide world is completely beautiful, detailed and in absolutely astounding HIGH DEFINITION?! 

 Oh...you already knew that. I guess I knew too, but I had forgotten. See, apparently it's been a while since slowly but surely, my vision became blurry. I didn't notice it; or perhaps I didn't admit it.

 Yesterday, Victor and I had an eye exam. Daddy had noticed there was something not quite right. First, Victor began complaining to him on Sabbaths, that he couldn't see the text on his PowerPoint presentations. I couldn't either, but I was sure it was because I was tired. My head hurt.

 Then, while skiing a couple of days ago, Daddy noticed that I kept exclaiming,
"I can't see anything! Oh my goodness, this fog is just so so thick! I can't even see the signs!" 
(I'm not even going to go into how dangerous it is to ski while being nearsighted, not knowing it, not being familiar with the ski runs, and on a foggy day. I'm also not going to go into how funny it would not have been if I had skied straight down a black diamond run all the while pondering why the "easy out" run was so incredibly populated by trees. Trust me .. with me, all these things are possible.)

 Back to the Optometrist's.

 I sit on the chair, stare into that little machine thingy, and view the letters on the board. I wait for him to put them into focus. He doesn't. Instead he asks me what I can see. What does he mean "What can you see?" Nothing! You have to focus it first!

 By this point my stomach does a little flop.
"Read me the top line, please." 
"Uh. Um. Uh. ... F. No wait, B." *squints* "That's an E isn't it? Then a Z... R?... O." 
"Mhmm.."
 He flips something or other and... Oh Good Heavens! When was the last time something had been so clear, crisp, sharp!?

"Read the top line again, please."
 "P, S, E, Q, and the second line is, J, L, R, Z."

 The same thing happens with the other eye and then he continues flipping one thing and another and asking which one is best and I'm wiggling in my seat thinking, "That was beautiful! Can I see like that again? Pleaaaase?!"

Victor and I both got out of there with goofy smiles. The world is so clear! So full of intricate details! So colorful, crisp, and beautiful!

Now I must apologize to my camera with whom I had recently been very disappointed in. I could never get her to focus! All the pictures seemed to have lost their sharpness and were always blurry. (Because obviously, the "thing wrong" is never with me.) Poor camera, I've apologized now.

Happy Friday!

May 10, 2012

Specasaurus.

In this list of "40 Triumphant Nicknames for People With Glasses" Specasaurus is my favorite.
 (Granted I only read that far.)

 Your promised program of letter characteristics has been interrupted by this importantissimo announcement: 
"Victor and I shall be getting glasses."

 We are, apparently, myopic. Or nearsighted. Or basically if you're six feet away, we can't see you. Ok. Forced hyperbole, but still. Now that I'm driving it's not considered safe to not be able to read signs ten feet away unless they're billboards. Usually traffic signs aren't as big as billboards. I suppose it's never safe to not be able to read signs ten feet away, driving or not. 

 So ... I'm off to go spend money on glasses that I will use, and I quote le optometrist, "For sightseeing, or watching a game.." Because I totally do a lot of that kind of stuff. Ok, so maybe I'm being resentful at having to wear glasses and have my mother gloat and say, "I've told you a hundred times, stop reading in the dark." and "You spend too much time on the computer." 

 Victor's is so super excited about getting glasses it's most baffling ... I have to admit, as soon as the optometrist made me try on the right lenses, I gasped, "Normal people really see like that?!!!" Everything was so clear!

 Do you wear glasses? When did you get them? Are you myopic or hyperopic? Were you scared at the Optometrist? (He is called an optometrist, right?) 

[edited] Victor's enthusiasm is baffling because he usually is adverse to shopping for anything other than toys/stamps, and when it involves actually shopping/trying on different pairs, his interest really surprises.

May 9, 2012

Yolanda Yu.


This post is the second in my Z-A challenge. Read 'bout that here.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in these posts are views of the letters involved. Not of the writer herself.

 Y's full name is Yolanda Yu, but you can call her Yoly for short. She is carefree and spirited. Yoly grew up in a "conveyor belt home." Her parents are both Ivy League alumni, and her two siblings are on that same path. 

 As children, Yoly and her brother and sister where enrolled in preparatory academies, music lessons, swimming, ballet, art, tennis, dressage, and French. Yoly's parents had a whole plan set out for her, which involved Yale, or possibly, if she must contradict them, Harvard. Yoly referred to their plans as a conveyor belt onto which they would place their children and everything would just take shape and form. Yoly's siblings accepted this. Yoly, did not, thus earning her the name of "the other daughter", as she was referred to by her parent's friends. 


 She decided the conveyor belt would be way too boring. So she got herself back to back jobs, such as a waitress at a local diner,and receptionist/babysitter at a fitness center. 


 When she's not running, Yoly volunteers to help at the local annual marathon. She hands out water bottles, clean towels, and is a first aid backup. Yoly herself loves to run. She has participated in a local marathon or two and is training for a future one out of state. 


 Yoly is very active and is never still for longer than it takes to throw her laundry into her closet, or feed her dog. She adopted the mutt from a shelter when she was ten. Her dog's name is Socks and he follows her around everywhere; he especially enjoys going with her on her runs. 


 After graduation, Yoly plans on going to the Republic of Congo with a group of friends. There they will build a school and an orphanage, as well as do what they can to establish a supply of clean water to the children of the orphanage. If you want all the details, ask Yoly because that's basically one of the many things she will tell you all about as soon as you meet her.


 Yoly doesn't have a social network profile of any kind because she's busy running in the morning and living even more the rest of the day. So if you'd like to speak to her, your best bet would be to attend one of the fundraisers her group is doing for their Republic of Congo trip. 


 Yoly likes strawberries and watermelon. If someone says cotton candy, she'll say, "Yum!"

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